Vinous – 97
The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Nello is darkly alluring and balsamic, with masses of fresh tobacco leaves and underbrush giving way to plums and exotic savory spices. This displays the dark fruits and radiance of the vintage, coming across as cool-toned and poised, yet also densely packed, like a bomb waiting to explode. The red and black berry notes are deeply penetrating and tinged with the saltiest of minerals, as hints of tangerine stimulate under an air of lavender and purple-tinged florals. With so much going on and such beauty within, the structure sneaks up on you, appearing only through the finale, leaving the palate classically dry while resonating on hints of currants and inner rose. The Riserva is produced only in the best vintages, in honor of Nello Baricci, who passed away in 2017. It hails from a choice parcel from within the Montosoli cru, and spends 21–24 days macerating on the skins, versus 15–18 days for the Brunello. It then matures in 500-liter tonneaux for 40 months. This 2016 takes things to a whole new level for this historic family, and it does so without damaging the integrity of the straight Brunello.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2025