15 March 2021
By Dave Mullen
2015 Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino is worth the wait
Collosorbo 2015 Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino is globally referred to as the purest expression of Sangiovese produced, and the 2015 Collosorbo Brunello certainly justifies that claim.

According to James Suckling, “the 2015 vintage is a historical year for Brunello di Montalcino that nobody should miss.” The release from Tenuta di Collosorbo is an effortless wine, perfectly balanced and immediately enjoyable yet with the fruit and structure to cellar comfortably for well over a decade.

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Collosorbo expresses a strong sense of place through its Brunello. With each vintage release, this up-and-coming producer attracts more attention from the world’s leading press. 2015 is a year both producers and critics are using to compare more recent vintages against for its ideal growing conditions, resulting in wines that will “drink well upon release” as well as after cellaring. 

The team at Collosorbo, headed by Giovanna Ciacci and led by her daughters, Laura (winemaker) and Lucia (agronomist), apply a meticulous approach in the vineyard and a minimalist approach during vinification. They capture the tradition of Brunello production, providing dedicated care in the vineyard in order to virtually eliminate human intervention during ageing. 

Collosorbo’s vineyards have a rare combination of Montalcino’s red clay, grey ‘galestro’ and sandy limestone soils. The resulting wines show “beautiful depth of fruit and great structure of tannins” thanks to Laura’s diligent vineyard practices making the most of their unique location.

It’s well known that 2014 was a disappointing year across the region with poor weather rinsing most Brunellos of their famous quality. Despite these conditions, Collosorbo still managed to produce a well-received Brunello and 2015’s superb release puts them next to the best producers in the region, with many of those at double the price.

The 2018 Rosso di Montalcino (the “baby Brunello” of the region) is also well worth a mention considering that year’s difficult growing conditions. 2018 is referred to as “a grower’s vintage” where extra care in the vineyard was crucial, resulting in a special wine that will pair with almost any meal. This Rosso is made to be drunk upon release but has the ability to age, too.

The 2015 Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino and 2018 Rosso di Montalcino are both available to order in WA now through Dave Mullen Wines.

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James Suckling – 2015 Brunello di Montalcino 95 points
Reductive at first, but that soon blows off and will fade with time. What’s left is very transparent red plum and red-cherry aromas. Hints of rhubarb and hibiscus. Tightly strung tannins suspend blood-orange and peach flavors in a hammock of gently weaving acidity. Drink from 2022.

Kerin O’Keefe – 2015 Brunello di Montalcino – 95 points
Sunbaked earth, underbrush, leather and baked plum aromas emerge on this full-bodied red. Round and enveloping, the delicious, concentrated palate doles out juicy Morello cherry, fleshy black raspberry, licorice and baking spice alongside velvety tannins. It’s already almost accessible but will also provide years of drinking pleasure. Enjoy through 2030.

Eric Guido (Vinous Media) – 2015 Brunello di Montalcino – 93 points
Dusty black cherries, cinnamon, sage, dried florals and savory spice lift effortlessly from the glass, forming a bouquet that keeps me coming back again and again. The palate is laced with silky textures, along with pure ripe cherry and plum, mineral underpinnings and subtle spice. Brisk acids and fine tannins mingle, presenting a wonderfully balanced experience. The finish is long and savory, with dried cherries and minerals resonating over a coating of refined tannins punctuated by lingering spice.

Kerin O’Keefe – 2014 Brunello di Montalcino – 91 points
Fragrant purple-flower, ripe plum, camphor and cake-spice aromas lift out of the glass. Smooth and savory, the bright palate offers juicy Marasca cherry, cranberry and licorice alongside fine-grained tannins and racy acidity. It’s balanced, vibrant and already almost accessible. Drink 2020–2025.

Eric Guido (Vinous Media) – 2018 Rosso di Montalcino – 91 points
The 2018 Rosso di Montalcino is dark and earthy, showing more depth than I’d expect from an early-drinking Rosso, displaying ripe strawberry mixed with sweet spices, wild herbs, and moist earth-mineral inflections, as the 2018 Collosorbo gains richness in the glass. On the palate, I’m finding silky depths of textural black cherry, as it coasts effortlessly across the senses, turning fleshy and sweeter, as red inner florals build. The finish is long, showing a bit of heat yet all composed, as primary dark red fruits linger, along with sweet spices with a twang of mouthwatering acids to balance it all out.