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Montalcino’s Boutique Winery and their Grand Cru-Like Brunello That Is “Bona Fide Nobility in the World of Italian Wine."
May 5, 2020

New Arrivals: Discover Montalcino’s Boutique Winery and Its Grand Cru-Like Brunello That is “Bona Fide Nobility in the World of Italian Wine.” The Founding Patriarch Delivers Its Finest Expressions from the Ripe 2015 and Classic 2013 Vintages!

“Lisini is one of Montalcino’s historic, reference-point estates.” - Antonio Galloni

“One of Montalcino’s long-established leaders (the first wines were released in the late 1960s). This is the Brunello that, like all great wines, is full delicious contradictions: it is concentrated yet elegant, muscular yet refined. The single-vineyard ‘Ugolaia,’ meanwhile, is bona fide nobility in the world of Italian wine.” – David Lynch, Vino Italiano

We appreciate these quotes about the historic Lisini estate, maker of one of the first Brunellos to grace our shelves more than twenty years ago. To IWM, this is one of those old school Brunello from the Sant'Angelo region that offers concentration and texture, with underlying energy and focus — a yin and yang experience for the best of both worlds. The house style is especially apparent in the ripe “fairytale” vintage of 2015, but it’s also present in the more restrained and classic year of 2013. These are among the great modern-day vintages of Montalcino, and as you may know by now, we simply cannot get enough Brunello from the likes of Caprili, Sassetti, Salvioni, Soldera, Canalicchio di Sopra, and this IWM original, the Lisini Brunello and their prized single-vineyard expression, Ugolaia.

The ancient Lisini estate has a long and rich past dating back to the sixteenth century; however, it was not until 1967 that the celebrated winery cemented its place in the history of Montalcino, when it became one of the founding members of Consorzio di Brunello. Perhaps more importantly, Lisini’s location in the hills surrounding Sant’Angelo in Colle, situated in the southwest corner of the Brunello region, is particularly favorable to the cultivation of the noble Sangiovese. It is here that the wines of Lisini naturally express a richer and warmer profile of the grape, which is tempered by altitude and a more traditional approach in the cellar. And while it is the pure, value-driven Brunello di Montalcino that is the calling card of this boutique winery, the estate’s single vineyard Ugolaia is the “bona fide nobility in the world of Italian wine.” Deriving from the estate’s oldest vines, this wine is produced in only the best vintages, with a limited production of just five hundred cases.

And while all eyes are on the absolutely jaw-dropping 2015 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino, the 2013 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino Ugolaia left us speechless this past weekend. The wine is rich and textured, yet amazingly fresh with underlying minerality at the same time. While traditional in style, the wine is balanced, rather than just a rustic brooding Brunello that needs years to soften. With these expressions, we cannot help but agree with Antonio Galloni, who said that “Lisini is one of Montalcino’s historic, reference-point estates,” and it continues to raise the bar.We are pleased to present both wines with exceptional pricing; it should be noted that the 2013 Ugolaia is a wine that commands $109 elsewhere, at $89.99 this is some of the best pricing in the country.
FEATURED WINE: New Releases from the Historic Montalcino Patriarch (Click to Order)

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With the history of the Lisini family running so deep in Montalcino, the current regime saw no other way to produce their wines other than with respect for tradition. This means that only Sangiovese is grown, fermentations take place in glass-lined cement tanks, and all wines age in large Slavonian oak casks. Starting in the 1980s, the estate’s winemaking was guided for years by Franco Bernabei (of Felsina and Fontodi fame), who then trained the current staff enologist Filippo Paoletti. The late Giulio Gambelli (the original “sangiovesista,” who consulted for many years at Biondi Santi and Soldera and helped to create Le Pergole Torte) also collaborated with the Lisinis for a while, and current winemaker Filippo counts both of these winemakers as important inspirations and influences on his work.


“Boutique winery Lisini makes quintessential Brunellos that perfectly demonstrate their exclusively Sangiovese origins. Given the cult status and high demand of Lisini Brunellos, these bottlings easily put to rest the idea that what people really want is a little Merlot blended into their Brunellos. Rather than overoak, overextract, or overripen, the firm prefers to craft its classic offerings with the denominations tried and true winemaking methods.’’ - Kerin O’Keefe

2013 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino Ugolaia
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Absolutely jaw-dropping! This is classic Brunello from a historic estate, and while I appreciate the Normale and Reserva, I am smitten by the single-vineyard Ugolaia – especially in 2013. This grand cru-like vineyard delivers its signature layers of texture and warmth from its southern Montalcino breeding. However, it should be noted that the wine is held in check with its high-altitude positioning. In the end, you get a wine that showcases its bold, caressing richness and concentration, and then with aeration and time in the decanter, it settles down to reveal its true balance and inner beauty. Expect to find juicy morello cherries, red currants, licorice, crushed flowers, wild herbs, and tobacco with a touch of tar and smoke. It finishes with drying tannins that wrap the teeth. Yes, it is a wine that will benefit with time, but it is deceivingly approachable today with its large personality. This wine offers a silky inviting texture, but that is only part of the experience that this Brunello has to offer….decant and enjoy.”

Decanter Magazine: “Ugolaia is a 1.7ha southwest-facing plot that looks out toward the sea, where temperature swings between day and night are significant. Here, the estate's oldest vines grow on red irony soil. This wine is not produced every vintage, but it clearly made sense in 2013 when neither Lisini's Riserva nor the regular Brunello suffered, and the Ugolaia demonstrated why it's a special site. It's still very backward but all is in place in this deftly sculpted Brunello. Nuances of wild cherry, lavender, moist soil and balsamic herbs emerge little by little. The tannins are assertive but fully ripe and sophisticated, demonstrating the wine's breed. This is concentrated yet vibrant, with appetising saline and iron notes resonating on the long finish.”

2015 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino
Eric Guido, Vinous: “The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino dark and rich, showing ripe black cherries and plum, with layers of haunting florals, exotic brown spice and smoky mineral tones. On the palate, a wave of polished textures wash across the senses, ushering in juicy black cherry with sweet herbal and floral undertones, with zesty spices and vibrant acidity adding a refreshing quality. The finish is long and remarkably fresh, an example of how the warmth of Sant’Angelo in Colle can be tempered by a deft hand, as fine tannins come forward, balanced by mouthwatering acidity and punctuated by residual pure red berry fruit. It’s a wine that’s very easy to love, with near term appeal and potential for the cellar.” (4/2020)

This is an email ONLY offer! Should you have any questions on these exciting wines, or would like to take advantage of this offer while supplies last, we are asking that you email orders back to me at, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation.

All my best,