K&L Wine Merchants - Header

The Brilliance of 2012 Brunello - In-Stock Collectibles Rated 95 Points and Up - 11/02/2017 - Italy

Both we and the critics have been singing the praises of the 2012 Brunello vintage for some time now. Rarely does a vintage come along that offers such consistent quality - delivering wines that show perfect poise and composure, but never at the expense of ripe fruit and bold flavors. Featured below are some of our top picks from this stellar vintage. All are now in-stock, have ratings of 95 points and up, are priced below $70, and hail from some of the finest estates in Italy. One of the things we love most about the 2012 Brunello vintage is how approachable the wines are in their youth. These are ideal candidates to enjoy now, but there’s also ample structure to allow for long-term cellaring. Simply put, the ‘12 are well worth clearing space in your cellar. Production is limited on many of these and so are our allocations, so don’t to delay in securing your favorites.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2012 Abbadia Ardenga "Piaggia" Brunello di Montalcino 95 $39.99 View
2012 Armilla Brunello di Montalcino 95 $39.99 View
2012 La Magia Brunello di Montalcino 96 $39.99 View
2012 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino 95 $44.99 View
2012 Cordella Brunello di Montalcino 95 $54.99 View
2012 Cortonesi "Poggiarelli" Brunello di Montalcino 95 Price: Hidden View
2012 Salicutti "Piaggione" Brunello di Montalcino 95 $69.99 View


Staff Image

2012 Abbadia Ardenga "Piaggia" Brunello di Montalcino ($39.99)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Here's a delicious red that opens with appealing ripe plum, blue flower, tobacco and baking spice aromas. Velvety tannins and fresh acidity provide structure and balance, while while juicy black cherry, raspberry compote and licorice flavors envelope the palate. Drink 2019-2032. *Editors' Choice* (KO)" (04/2017)

93 points James Suckling: "I like the dried fruit to this red with blueberry and cherry undertones. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Polished and pretty. Very well done. Drink or hold." (02/2017)

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 29, 2017

Ardenga may not be well known here in the States but they produce terrific Brunello. Their 2012 captures the best characteristics of the vintage; lush fruit combined with excellent freshness and structure. Ardenga boasts irresistible, concentrated cherry and plum fruit that packs a mid-palate punch and a lengthy finish. Pleasant grippy tannins add another dimension to the overall appeal of this wonderful red from the hills of Montalcino.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 22, 2017

The nose of this wine is savory, dried wild cherries, salty plums and hints of leather. On the palate the wine expands, it has a lush, supple feel that caresses the fine grain tannin as it rolls across your tongue. The flavors are true to the nose, showing the savory ripeness, oyster shell, and the word the Italians use macchia, what they call the flavor of the wild scrub; it shows up frequently in Brunello. The wine is supple, broad and mouth-filling in a gentle way; it shows great length and acidic structure while the tannic structure is exceptionally well integrated, while the dried cherries and dried flowers show up in the final moment of the finish. Abbadia Ardenga may not be the Brunello producer on the tip of your tongue yet, but as their wines slowly become available in the US youll be glad they have finally arrived.

Staff Image

2012 Armilla Brunello di Montalcino ($39.99)

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "You could get lost in the enticing fragrance of this wine thanks to wild berry, blue flower, baking spice, chopped herb and saddle leather aromas. The smooth, elegantly structured palate is just as inviting, doling out juicy black cherry, raspberry, cinnamon and white pepper flavors. Polished tannins and fresh acidity lend balance and support. An impressive effort from this wineryone of Montalcino's little known gems. (KO)" (04/2017)

91 points James Suckling: "Dried berries and figs come through on the nose here, underlining the hot growing season. Full body, round and ripe tannins and a dusty finish. Hints of lemon peel. Better in 2019." (02/2017)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Here's an interesting wine from Armilla. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino opens to a darkly saturated color and richly intense perfumes of dark berry, dried cherry and spice. The mouthfeel is thickly textured and robust. Yet, the wine also offers a refreshing point of acidity that ultimately gives it a more buoyant and approachable personality. This is a great wine to pair with hearty winter foods by the fireplace. (ML)" (03/2017)

Vinous: "Bright dark red. Dark red cherry and plum aromas with scents of gingerbread and botanical herbs on the nose plus slightly warmer notes of coffee and tobacco. Juicy pure red cherry and saline flavors, this is rather chunky in weight but has a supple texture and a medium-long finish. (ID)" (03/2017)

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2017

Armilla has definitely released what we think is their best wine to-date. Their 2012 Brunello exudes elegance and subtle texture enhanced by delicious strawberry flavors and bright acidity. There's no shortage of personality to this wine and it certainly showcases the wonderful red fruit their region of Montalcino is known for.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 18, 2017

I was immediately smitten with this Brunello. Straight out the gate, it exudes old timey charm with restrained aromas of red fruits and dried mandarin peels. Flavors are also red fruited, with a light textural feel, layered, subtle flavors, and an overall airiness to the wine that makes it drink well young, though I feel like the impeccable balance at this young age may well allow for some solid mid-term cellar potential. A new name, but one that I will be sure to remember: Armilla!

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 23, 2017

The nose is full of ripe, plumy fruit highlighted with bits of clove and wild flowers. On the palate the wine is full, rich and has a smoothness to it that is just short of lush, sort of a plus size supple, here more savory flavors emerge, porcini, leather and salty plums. The wine is really well balanced and rich tannins and acid are in perfect harmony, the best wine Ive ever had from this estate. Armilla is located on Montalcinos western slope near the hamlet of Tavarnelle, close to Fossacolle, Gaja, Soldera and Caprili.With just over 6 acres of vineyard, planted in 1982, they make 566 cases of Brunello a year, their first vintage was the release of the 1997 aged in 25hl Slavonian oak barrels for 30 months.

Staff Image

2012 La Magia Brunello di Montalcino ($39.99)

96 points James Suckling: "Incredible purity of fruit to this red with plums, cherries and berries. Full body, ripe and silky tannins and a fantastically long finish. Love the bitter-orange undertone to this. Drink in 2020." (11/2016)

92 points Vinous: "Deep ruby-red. Sassafrass, underbrush and flint complement dark red cherry aromas and flavors. Fresh and juicy, with a strong saline bent on the long, clean finish. Outstanding Brunello that tastes lively and very fresh even though made in a relatively hot and very dry year. (ID)" (03/2017)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Truffle, leather, Mediterranean brush, chopped herb and black-skinned fruit aromas meld together with a balsamic note. The juicy, concentrated palate shows dried cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and licorice while fine-grained tannins lend support. Give it time for the tannins to fully integrate. Drink 2020-2030. (KO)" (05/2017)

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2017

This is definitely a big, concentrated style Brunello with moderate tannins and mild acidity, and a more modern expression as well as the wine is aged in medium-sized French barrels. It's packed with rich fruit and a touch of new French oak that adds to its overall appeal. Open this one with a juicy steak.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 22, 2017

The nose is full of aromatics, wild herbs, dried flowers, wild cherry, and plums with a bit of star anise and cinnamon, not a dramatic bold statement but more like a gentle breeze. Yet on the palate this is a big, bold wine with a broad, rich center that shows sweet, fine grain tannin coupled with a lower acidity that makes the tannins stand out a bit more. The finish emerges as more savory and earthy than the mid palate would predict and shows signs of the Tuscan brush, porcini, leather that all come together with wild cherry and plums in the finish.

Staff Image

2012 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino ($44.99)

95 points James Suckling: "Beautiful aromas of raspberries, strawberries and flowers. Very intense and focused. Full-bodied, silky and flashy with lots of fruit and firm and tight tannins. Needs time to open but already fantastic. Drink in 2020." (02/2017)

94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Mature black-skinned fruit, menthol and dark spice aromas carry over to the savory, full-bodied palate, joining juicy black cherry, raspberry compote and dried herb flavors. Firm, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity offer support and a seamless feel. Drink 2019-2027. (KO)" (04/2017)

93 points Vinous: "Bright dark red. The terroir-driven nose offers raspberry, cherry, and iron aromas, complicated by oak-derived coffee and sweet spice tones. Utterly seamless in texture, featuring very precise and highly energetic smoky red cherry and raspberry jelly flavors. The slowly mounting, suave finish shows outstanding length and a refined touch to the tannins. (ID)" (03/2017)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Sesta di Sopra 2012 Brunello di Montalcino is a rich and savory wine. It opens to a beautifully saturated ruby color and a dark appearance. The bouquet is redolent of cherry, wild raspberry, spice, toasted almond and spicy tobacco or cured leather. The quality and the intensity of the bouquet is excellent. But like many of the best Brunellos of the vintage, the mouthfeel is not as long or deep as you might expect, given the generous abundance of the aromas released. (ML)" (02/2017)

K&L Notes: Sesta di Sopra is a tiny estate on the southern slope of Montalcino, its one hectare Brunello vineyard sits above the road from Sant'Angelo in Colle to Castelnuovo dell'Abate in a galestro rich soil. They produce just over 4,000 bottles of Brunello every year, made in one 31hl Slavonian oak barrel.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 18, 2017

The nose of this wine is perfect, the classic blend of red fruits, savory bouillon and porcini like components accented with bits of Tuscan dust. On the palate the wine is serious its big and powerful yet more agile and elegant than pondering, while the tannins are super fine giving it a fine, web-like structure. The wine has just enough plumpness to give you that sensual pleasure, the richness without being heavy and the wine all comes together in a long and lifted finish. Excellent quality with a long life ahead.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 18, 2017

I have to give our Brunello customers credit: this is always amongst our most popular Brunelli, and as consistently tasty as it is, I can see why. While Sesta tends to show rich, succulent red fruits, they are even more delectable in a forward, juicy vintage such as 2012. While there is fruit here, and lots of it, there is also sufficient acid balance and structure to see it through some mid-term cellaring. Greg (St Clair, our Italian buyer if you don't know him by now) refers to 2012 as something of a goldilocks vintage, and this wine does indeed taste just right.

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 06, 2017

I love these user friendly Brunelli's in 2012. Impressive nose, with loads of ripe fruit, this is full-bodied with soft tannin structure, that wont hurt your teeth. Love the fruit that is an impressive, rich and concentrated. The wine boasts excellent length, with black cherry, leather and a spicy nose with a little Tuscan dust and minerals on the finish. It is drinkable now, with a couple of hours in a decanter, or give this wine time to improve and continues to evolve for another five to ten years. I am thinking a pork roast loin.

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 02, 2017

Sesta di Sopra is one of the jewels of our Italian department and we're ever grateful that they are part of our direct import family. This tiny estate continues their unbroken string of exceptional Brunellos with the release of their 2012. It's a substantial wine that not only expresses its calcerous soils with pleasant earthy nuances but also exudes rich, deep Sangiovese fruit with fine grained tannins and a perfect dose of acidity. It's a full-bodied red with savory dark and red fruit flavors that coat the palate and continue to a long finish. It ranks among the truly great values of the vintage and it's a Sangiovese we think you'll appreciate as much as we do.

Staff Image

2012 Cordella Brunello di Montalcino ($54.99)

95 points James Suckling: "Fascinating aromas of dried oranges, blackberries and black truffles follow through to a full body, fine and integrated tannins and a flavorful finish. Very well-crafted. Made from organic grapes. Drink or hold." (02/2017)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Now made with organically farmed fruit, the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino offers noticeable brightness that is evident both in terms of the wine's appearance and its aromatic intensity. The bouquet puts on a solid showing with blackberry, dried cherry, cedar wood, tobacco and a touch of bitter chocolate. The wine offers an even performance in the mouth with firm but integrated tannins. (ML)" (05/2017)

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 17, 2017

Love these user friendly 2012 Brunelli, This is very concentrated and has a impressive nose for the vintage, with loads of ripe fruit, Full-bodied and very velvety, with beautiful soft tannins and great fruit, full-bodied, this wine boasts excellent length.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 23, 2017

This wine comes from the northeastern quadrant of Montalcino near the town of Torrenieri, here the soils are denser and have more clay which give wines of richness and breadth. The nose of this wine is bold, lots of sweet plumy fruit with a bit of tomato leaf. On the palate the wine is rich, dense and full bodied showing wild plums and earth while accented by hints of vanilla. The finish pulls it all together and bits of wild mushroom and saddle leather emerge to couple with the deep fruit. This is a fairly new winery the vineyards were planted in 1998 and sold until Maddalena Cordella took over and released her first wine with the 2010 vintage.The wines are aged for 24 months in 25hl Slavonian oak

Staff Image

2012 Cortonesi "Poggiarelli" Brunello di Montalcino Price: Hidden

95 points James Suckling: "Aromas of blueberries, blackberries and dark Indian tea follow through to a full body, chewy and powerful tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Generous and structured. Try in 2020." (11/2016)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "This special vineyard site is located in the southeastern quadrant of the appellation known for more opulent and structured wines. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Poggiarelli lives up to this billing. The bouquet bursts open with immediate intensity. Bold cherry, blackberry, spice, clove and black truffle rise to the top. The mouthfeel shows mid-weight consistency with fine texture and mild freshness. (ML)" (03/2017)

92 points Vinous: "Good bright medium ruby-red. Aromas of raspberry, green tea, licorice and violet. At once smooth, sweet and nicely delineated, with good floral lift to the red berry and lightly saline flavors. Finishes with sweet tannins and sneaky concentration and length. (ID)" (03/2017)

92 points Wine Spectator: "A charming mix of cherry, strawberry, tobacco and underbrush flavors, this turns lean and tense toward the finish, offering firm, dusty tannins, echoes of tobacco and a touch of leather. Best from 2021 through 2035. (BS)"

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2017

Chocolate covered blueberries, healthy loam, Dr. Pepper, and strawberries on the nose, which all come together harmoniously on the palate. Perfect tannin structure, supportive acidity, and a long and delicate finish. This is a beautifully unique Brunello that is sure to spark a conversation.

Staff ImageJohn Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2017

This is a bold and vibrant Brunello that will especially appeal to those looking for Sangiovese with ample intensity and length. "Poggiarelli" boasts penetrating red and black fruit flavors that carry on to a lengthy finish thanks to some solid acidity. It's aged in medium-sized French barrels yet the oak is perfectly integrated allowing the fruit to shine.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 18, 2017

Cortonesi, née La Manella, produces this particular bottling of Brunello from a well regarded site in the Southeast corner of the denominazione. The wine is brawny, salty, savory, black fruited and built, though there is still a quality to the wine that makes you salivate and reach for another glass. I like the style, and with any meat finished with rosemary and sea salt, I imagine I would like it even more. Bravo! A fine Brunello.

Staff ImageMike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 17, 2017

I am Lovin on the 2012 Brunelli, beautifully layered, expressive wine bursting with sweet ripe strawberries, black cherries intermingled with subtle earth and toasted oak notes, minerals and a hint of bitter chocolate on the on the finish, round and ripe tannins and a long aftertaste and really well sturture. Great for gifts, or the Holiday table.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 23, 2017

The nose is full of dark fruit, spiced blackberry, hints of baking spice, and some Tuscan brush. On the palate the wine has real depth of flavor, darker fruits, more saturated flavors then the savory portions sweep forward, wild mushroom, rosemary, coriander. The tannic structure begins to show, fine grain and in balance and supports the supple richness where more wild cherry and blackberry flavors come to the front spiced with bits of savory earth. The wine comes together in the finish showing lots of complexity, a rich mid palate and long balanced finish. I think this is the best wine this winery has made, it comes from a plot in the south eastern portion of Montalcino.

Staff Image

2012 Salicutti "Piaggione" Brunello di Montalcino ($69.99)

95 points Vinous: "Good deep red. Captivating aromas of red fruits, coffee, mocha, violet, minerals and sweet spices. Very rich, dense and creamy, but with excellent lift, focus and energy giving shape and grip to the raspberry, red cherry, botanical herb and mineral flavors. This is a step up in concentration and depth compared to the majority of the 2012 Brunellos. Finishes with fine tannins and superb length. An outstanding vintage in the making for Salicutti. (ID) 95+" (03/2017)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Focused and athletic, with tension supporting the cherry, berry, tobacco and graphite flavors. The tannins coat the gums, but this remains balanced and long on the fruit- and tobacco-tinged aftertaste. Best from 2019 through 2033. (BS)" (09/2017)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Despite the warm growing conditions, yields were reduced significantly to achieve balance and crispness in the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Piaggione. Only 6,600 bottles were produced. The wine opens to mature and exuberant fruit that shows a dark ruby appearance with plump aromas of blackberry and plum. There is a touch of evolution as well with noticeable layers of tar, smoke and licorice. Despite its rich texture, the wine is long and polished in terms of mouthfeel. (ML)" (05/2017)