Impressing from the first tilt of the glass, the 2018 Brunello di Montalcino makes itself known, with a heady burst of exotic spice and crushed ashen stone giving way to dried black cherries and grilled herbs. This combines the energy of the vintage with the dark balsamic-tinged fruits of Montalcino’s southern reaches, as zesty acidity maintains balance throughout, and flinty minerals saturate toward the close.
It finishes long, savory and structured, yet its tannins are more rounded than anticipated, creating both a classic feel, but also leaving a mouthwatering sensation that tricks the taster back to the glass for more. Easily one of the top wines of the vintage, the 2018 is not to be missed.
Drink 2026 - 2036
Eric Guido, Vinous.com (December 2022)
Lustrous deep ruby. Still quite closed on the nose with only a hint of Moroccan leather. Pure cherry-fruit flavours on the palate and with lots of ripe acidity. Fantastic, compact, gravelly tannins are a real feat in this vintage. A hedonistic whole that can already be approached but will improve over time.
Drink 2023 - 2032
Walter Speller, JancisRobinson.com (November 2022)
The Il Poggione 2018 Brunello di Montalcino reveals a dark and savory character with more fruit weight and concentration than you might find in many of its peers. This wine shows a dense center of gravity that is padded with dark cherry, blackberry, toasted spice, mahogany smoked meat and tilled earth.
Despite the robust aromas, this Sangiovese is actually quite streamlined and polished in texture. The tannins are soft and veering toward accessibility. This is an ambitious production of 200,000 bottles. The estate's Riserva Vigna Paganelli was not made in 2018, so fruit from that wine went here instead.
Drink 2024 - 2040
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (March 2023)
This is a flavorful, layered Brunello with aromas of fresh and sour cherries, plums, bay leaves, rosemary and olives. Cloves and licorice, too. It’s medium- to full-bodied with firm, fine-grained tannins. Sleek and well-integrated, with a lengthy and deliciously savory finish.
Drink from 2023 onward
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (December 2022)
This large and historic property in Montalcino’s southwest draws upon 140 hectares of estate vineyards to deliver a very complete and satisfying Brunello. A smoky introduction leads to leather and tobacco nuances which repeat on the palate. The 2018 is chock full of flavour as cherry and baking spice join in. It feels midweight but there is plenty of stuffing with a vigorous chewiness contributing positively to the gratifying mouthfeel. It will be even better with another year in the bottle.
Drink 2024 - 2032
Michaela Morris, Decanter.com (November 2022)
About this WINE
Il Poggione is a winery steeped in history with its origins dating back to the late 1800s. Owned by Leopoldo and Livia Franceschi , it is situated below the beautiful hilltop town of Sant’Angelo in Colle, a part of the Brunello di Montalcino appellation characterised by temperate, yet well-ventilated micro-climate. This benefits the grapes by maintaining refreshing acidity levels and extending their ripening time.
Father and son winemaking team Fabrizio and Alessandro Bindocci coax the best from these privileged vineyard sites; they are also proponents of a traditional wine-making style which includes submerging the cap with frequent pump overs (for more colour and tannin extraction), and ageing in large casks (so that wood flavours remain subtle and do not interfere with the natural expression of the Sangiovese and the Sant’Angelo terroir).
The Riserva bottling, made in the finest vintages, receives at least one year extra ageing in French oak casks. The typical style is intense, full-bodied, powerful, packed with dark fruit, menthol, sweet smoke, cocoa and spice flavours and a hint of earthiness.
In the best vintages the wines demonstrate extraordinary development in bottle. Even better, prices have remained very reasonable, considering the superb quality of the wine. Poggione’s straight Brunello is one of the most fairly-priced, cellar worthy wines of the appellation.
This is a benchmark property for fine, traditionally made Brunellos capable of ageing superbly.
Brunello di Montalcino
Along with Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino is Tuscany's most famous DOCG and the region's boldest expression of Sangiovese. Located 30 miles south of Siena with the hilltop town of Montalcino as its epicentre, its 2,000 hectares of vines are naturally delimited by the Orcia, Asso and Ombrone valleys. Brunello is the local name for the Sangiovese Grosso clone from which Brunello di Montalcino should be made in purezza (ie 100 percent).
The Brunello di Montalcino DOCG has a whale-like shape: at its head, at 661 metres above sea level on ancient, stony galestro soils facing east and southeast lies the town of Montalcino, where the DOC was founded. As you follow the spine south towards the tail, the vineyards lose altitude – those around Colle Sant'Angelo are at 250 metres – while the soils become richer with iron and clay. Further east, in the shadow of the 1,734 metre Mont'Amiata lies the village of Castelnuovo dell'Abate where the vineyards are strewn with a rich mix of galestro, granitic, volcanic, clay and schist soil types.
Historically, the zone is one of Tuscany's youngest. First praised in 1550 by Leandro Alberti for the quality of its wines, it was Tenuta Il Greppo who bottled the inaugural Brunello di Montalcino in 1888. By 1929, the region had 925 hectares of vines and 1,243 hectares of mixed crops, while in 1932 it was decreed that only those wines made and bottled within the commune could be labelled as Brunello di Montalcino. Since then, the number of producers has risen from 11 in 1960 to 230 in 2006, while over the same period the vineyards have expanded from 1,000 hectares to 12,000. The region earned its DOC in 1966, and was upgraded to DOCG in 1980.
Brunello di Montalcino cannot be released for sale until five years after the harvest, or six years in the case of Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. During this time the wines should be aged for at least two years in oak, followed by at least four months in bottle (six months for Riservas); maximum yields are 55 hl/ha.
Rosso di Montalcino is declassified Brunello di Montalcino, released for sale 18 months after the harvest.
It is a high yielding, late ripening grape that performs best on well-drained calcareous soils on south-facing hillsides. For years it was blighted by poor clonal selection and massive overcropping - however since the 1980s the quality of Sangiovese-based wines has rocketed upwards and they are now some of the most sought after in the world.
It produces wines with pronounced tannins and acidity, though not always with great depth of colour, and its character can vary from farmyard/leather nuances through to essence of red cherries and plums. In the 1960s the advent of Super Tuscans saw bottlings of 100% Sangiovese wines, as well as the introduction of Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon blends, the most famous being Tignanello.