April 25, 2020
New Arrivals from the “Vintage Made by God.” Discover the Small Artisanal Neighbor of Cerbaiona That Is Delivering Value from Organically Grown Sangiovese on Prized Terroir!
“[2015 Montalcino] A vintage made by God…” - Andrea Mantengoli, La Serena
We've said it numerous times over the past month: the best way to sum up many of the Brunello di Montalcino from the ripe 2015 vintage is one word — delizioso. Yes, the vintage has been dubbed the “fairytale vintage” by the media and has entered the pantheon of legendary ripe years such as 1997, 2007 and even 2010. For Italian Wine Merchants, it is simple. While we appreciate the more restrained and classic years, there is an extraordinary quality of concentrated fruit in this vintage, with precise varietal characteristics and a stunning level of balance across the region. As Andrea Mantengoli of La Serena exclaimed to Vinous this past month, 2015 was "A vintage made by God,” meaning that the sunny vintage provided supplied everything that was needed in the vineyard to make great wine — and many did. 2015 Brunello has a soft and inviting approachability will be the perfect complement to the upcoming 2016s, as well as the preceding 2013s, where many of the wines are more restrained, and in most scenarios will need more time for drinking pleasure.
So how do we follow up on the overwhelming response to the 2015 Caprili Brunello di Montalcino, our favorite value from the approachable vintage? We hinted at it above as well as a few weeks back — we do it with the Brunello from the rising star of La Serena. The common descriptors at this prized Montalcino address are often “rich,” “dense,” “silky,” and “earthy"; in 2015 these words could not be more appropriate. As with the Caprili, what we really appreciate here is that there is some price relief. Where neighboring Cerbaiona's cult-like wines can easily dip into the triple digits, La Serena is more welcoming on both the palate and in the pocket, and it's offered at a fraction of the price for all enthusiasts to enjoy.
This is a sumptuous Brunello with a touch of power from prized terroir, and it is simply one of our top value recommendations from the accessible year in Montalcino. The wines arrive next week, and we are pleased to share them with you at a special price of just $49.99 when you purchase six bottles or more.
FEATURED WINE: LA SERENA AND HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2015 MONTALCINO (Click to Order)
If you are new to this Montalcino producer, La Serena has a history dating back to the 1930s; however, it was not until 1988 that they entered their modern era with winemaking. The vineyards are located in the northeastern shoulder of Montalcino; here in this prized positioning, La Serena is adjacent to Montalcino’s celebrated producer Cerbaiona. The Sangiovese is grown organically and naturally benefits from the exceptional positioning and 400 meters of elevation. It should, however, be noted that the wines generally have more fruit concentration and softer tannins than those of their neighbors— do not think Biondi-Santi or Costanti here, where you can feel the altitude, precision, and restraint. And while there is a more traditional approach taking place in La Serena's cellar with aging in more large Slavonian casks, the wines can best be described as modern meets Old World. What does this extra wording means is that you do not have to wait fifteen years after the vintage to enjoy the wines.
I spent 48 hours tasting both the 2013 and 2015 from La Serena, and while I have a propensity to lean towards the more classic and leaner years, the 2015 offered more balance in the end. The 2013 did capture a more restrained expression that offered a little more precision, but 2015 was the more complete wine.
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND REVIEWS:
“Proprietor Andrea Mantengoli can be counted on for rich, powerful wines full of character at La Serena.” – Antonio Galloni
2015 La Serena Brunello di Montalcino
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “It is modern meets Old World at this prized address. And with its cherished high-altitude location coupled with an organic approach in the vineyards, there is underlying power to the textural unctuosity and sweetness of both fruit and tannins here. In 2015, the La Serena is large scaled, displaying the signature descriptors of richness, density, and earth. You can expect nuances of black cherries, blackberries, plum, dried flowers, licorice, tar, and herbal undertones that build on the finish. I describe this wine as a more masculine expression, not in structure, but in that there is a darker fruit element mixed in with tar, game, underbrush, and smoke. At the same time, the wine is chewy and welcoming on the palate. Now, here is the most important tip to enjoying this wine today (if you must), let it breathe for a few hours, as there is some baby fat. Let those earthy and woodsy notes on the nose blow off, and let the fruit in the glass calm down and integrate so you can experience the balance and purity that lies underneath. Great value.”
Eric Guido, Vinous: “La Serena's 2015 Brunello di Montalcino shows dusty florals up front, mingling with dried cherries, mint leaf, cedar box, and white smoke, as hints of undergrowth and animal musk develop in the glass. On the palate, I'm finding a soft, silky expression, showing earthy red berry tones amidst nervous acidity, adding sweetness and saturating minerality, as grippy tannins drench the senses. The finish is long, structured, and spicy, displaying a hint of orange citrus over a layer of fine tannin and inner earth tones, with cheek-puckering acids linger on. The 2015 is a powerful wine built on a core of primary fruit and acid, yet with enough tannic clout to find beautiful balance over time.”