2018 Brunello di Montalcino, La Magia, Tuscany, Italy

2018 Brunello di Montalcino, La Magia, Tuscany, Italy

Product: 20181165982
Prices start from £51.00 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2018 Brunello di Montalcino, La Magia, Tuscany, Italy

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This comes from a selection of low-yielding old vines, and a blend of soils and altitudes. After selection, the stunning quality at harvest allowed for a long, 40-day maceration, giving tannic complexity, depth and texture. The wine has seen 36 months in used tonneau and in barrique (a third of them new), which rendered some sweet polish to accompany the terroir-driven profile of this Sangiovese.

This is a bright, heady, perfumed Brunello, richer than many other wines of the vintage. It offers spice, wild herbs, blood orange and smoky pancetta on the nose. The palate is gleaming, composed of crystalline fruit quality, alongside notes of savoury spices, red cherry and rose tea, with a delicate red colour. The palate is propelled by vivid mineral freshness and a fleshy peachy softness, but framed by fine earthy tannins.

Drink 2024 - 2038

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Critics reviews

Eric Guido, Vinous92/100

The 2018 Brunello di Montalcino is smoky in the glass, with a blend of crushed rocks and savory spice accentuating dried black cherries. It is soft and round in feel, energized by juicy acidity that propels its mineral-tinged red fruits across the palate. A coating of fine tannins is left to reside, along with violet inner florals and sweet spice, through the long and dramatic finale. Finding a balance of potent fruit and structure is often one of the challenges of the 2018 vintage, yet La Magia pulled it off without a hitch.

Drink 2024 - 2031

Eric Guido, Vinous.com (December 2022)

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Jancis Robinson MW17+/20

Deep, lustrous ruby. Exotic spice on a compact sour-cherry nose. Subtle but very closed. Purity of fruit on the palate that is not open yet but with impressive depth. Lots of long, chewy tannins complement the whole. Can be approached but should be decanted. Better to give it another year.

Drink 2024 - 2033

Walter Speller, JancisRobinson.com (December 2022)

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Wine Advocate92/100

The organic La Magia 2018 Brunello di Montalcino is a subdued and elegant expression with a very genuine quality that is ultimately the wine's biggest asset. You taste the skin and the pulp of the Sangiovese grape in this wine that remains very true to the variety. Wild cherry, cassis and crushed limestone give the wine plenty of linearity and freshness. Elements of the bouquet remind you of a natural wine. Production is 38,000 bottles.

Fabian Schwarz's La Magia has been an organic farm since 2012. The main body of vines measures 15 hectares and is registered to Brunello. The site enjoys beautiful southeast exposures with silt, clay and stones at a breezy 400 to 450 meters in elevation. The estate replanted a section of its Vigna Casisano last year. They also started production of a new Vermentino white wine, but alas, they skipped over production of their 2017 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva due to the hot and dry vintage conditions.

Drink 2025 - 2038

Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (March 2023)

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James Suckling94/100

Lovely purity of fruit here with plums, cherries, liquorice, tomato leaves and hibiscus. It’s full-bodied, all in balance, with a firm and fine tannin frame and seamless, creamy texture. Focused. More mineral and tight in the finish. From organically grown grapes. 

Better after 2025

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (December 2022)

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Jeb Dunnuck93/100

The 2018 Brunello Di Montalcino is a more potent and amplified wine, with luxurious aromas of toasted cedar, dark mineral earth, menthol, and black cherry liqueur. It is full through the palate, with ripe mouth-coating fruit layering around fine ripe tannins and a long-lasting finish. Its ripe black fruit of berries and plum intertwines with incense and leather. This is a solid and wonderful wine to cellar for a few years. 

Drink 2026 - 2040

Audrey Frick, JebDunnuck.com (March 2023)

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About this WINE

La Màgia

La Màgia

The Schwarz family have owned La Màgia since the mid-1970s. Originally from Alto Adige, they were among the first Brunello producers to estate-bottle their wines. This organic estate is farmed by second-generation Fabian; born in Montalcino, he succeeded his father in 2005. He has since redefined the estate’s direction, continuing to realise the potential of this hallowed site.

The farm sits high above the Abbey of Sant’Animo – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and faces south-east towards Mount Amiata. The exposure to the cold mountain winds, morning sun exposition and altitude of 400-450 metres provide a cooler microclimate, adding to the freshness, tension and energy in the wines – even in a warm vintage like ’17.

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Brunello di Montalcino

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.

While Brunello di Montalcino's climate is mildly Mediterranean, thanks to the sea being a mere 20 miles away, the elevation of the vineyards provides an important diurnal temperature variation (ie hot days and cool nights). This benefits the grapes by maintaining acidity levels and extending their ripening time. The howling tramontana wind can also play an important role in drying and concentrating the fruit.

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.

Recommended producers: Costanti, Fuligni, Lisini, San Giuseppe, Soldera, Cerbaiona

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A black grape widely grown in Central Italy and the main component of Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano as well as being the sole permitted grape for the famed Brunello di Montalcino.

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.

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