Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino 2017

Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino 2017

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94 points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, February 2022

As you drive downhill from the hamlet of Montalcino on its north side, you pass the Canalicchio di Sopra winery, which is located in a shallow, sun-lit basin of vines. This estate is meticulous and studied in its winemaking philosophy, and the 2017 Brunello di Montalcino is an expression of that concentration. This warm-climate Brunello reveals awesome purity and intensity with wild cherry, almond and lilac spread over a tonic, mid-weight finish. This wine awards plenty of elegance in a vintage that was not easy and not prone to such nuance. Production is exactly 39,989 bottles.

Francesco Ripaccioli of Canalicchio di Sopra opted not to make his Brunello di Montalicino Riserva in 2017, citing the challenges of the vintage that was very hot and dry. Instead, fruit that would have gone toward the Riserva, like the excellent Sangiovese from his Vigna Vecchia Mercatale, went to his annata Brunello di Montalcino instead (reviewed here). He also focused on the 2017 Brunello di Montalcino La Casaccia, which shows very nicely in my opinion. This greater understanding of what can and cannot be accomplished in any one vintage comes from an ongoing effort to study and identify the individual growing sites throughout the property. Francesco has been working hard in this direction for the past 10 years.

- Monica Larner