2013 Tenuta di Sesta Brunello di Montalcino

SKU #1376749 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Here's a fresh and lovely red wine from Southern Tuscany. The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino offers a very bright and lively quality of fruit that you don't often get with Brunello, a wine that ages for five years (between oak barrel and in the bottle) before its commercial release. You taste the cherry and the dried raspberry here in all their purity and glory. The wine continues to the palate with softness and silky lines. (ML) 93+  (6/2018)

92 points James Suckling

 A wealth of raspberry and black cherry aromas with hints of flowers and walnut skin. Full body, chewy and tannic with a pretty underlining of fruit. Slightly ripe style yet remains fresh. Drink or hold.  (11/2017)

91 points Vinous

 Medium-dark red; this is actually lighter in color than the 2016 Rosso from Tenuta di Sesta. Strong notes of tobacco, wet underbrush and botanical herbs camouflage red fruit and balsamic aromas. Enters bright and juicy, then more austere and steely, revealing a slightly bitter twist to the floral red berry flavors. This very graceful wine finishes long and vibrant, but I would have liked a little more generosity of fruit. Cellar this for five or six years and see if it fills out. (ID)  (4/2018)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Aromas of dark berry, pipe tobacco and leather take shape in the glass. The savory, balanced palate offers juicy Morello cherry, strawberry and star anise alongside taut, polished tannins. Drink 2022–2028. (KO)  (5/2018)

K&L Notes

Whenever I visit this winery I always feel more serene. There’s just something about how it sits nestled into the hillside on Montalcino’s south slope. It seems to have had the same effect upon the owners, Giovanni Ciacci and his son and daughter, Andrea and Francesca, as the calm they exude is contagious. Their vineyards stretch down the slope from about 1,200 to 700 feet, protected from the cold north wind by the hills at their back. They overlook the Orcia river valley and benefit from the warm airflow from the Tuscan coast. Here the soil here is rich in marl and limestone, the perfect foil to harness Sangiovese’s vigor and allow the vine to produce complexity rather than bulk. Their estate covers almost 500 acres, of which 32 acres are in Brunello (all acreage in Montalcino is controlled and limited, and there isn’t any “open” land to just plant Rosso or Brunello) and 26 acres of Rosso di Montalcino. The biggest portion of the estate is close to 250 acres that are planted to olives and grain. I love these wines. They reflect the placid serenity I spoke of previously, are far more savory than fruity, and are far more elegant than bold, but are incredibly expressive and very age-worthy as well. (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)

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Price: $34.99
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By: Rachel Alcarraz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/23/2019 | Send Email
When I first opened the bottle, the wine seemed very nice. It had good fruit, it was balanced, it was subtle. As I waited, I could smell this wine open up in my glass. My colleagues and I sat there chatting and each had to go back for our next sip because of the aromas that began to fill the room. It was still subtle, but subtly smoky, subtly spicy, subtly filled with gorgeous, elegant red and black fruits. The black plum character lifted from the glass while the toasted baking spices and gentle smoke gave an almost umami presence as we drank. I took it home that evening to enjoy with my dinner. My husband often lets me drink the bigger half of the bottle, but that evening he placed it on his side of the table.

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/23/2018 | Send Email
I find that Tenuta di Sesta’s wines are always overlooked upon release. They are never the loudest, tallest or heaviest; they just seem to be pleasant. Yet after years of tasting their wines I find they are just slower to develop and end up morphing into silky, elegant masterpieces. In the 2013 vintage their Brunello shows the pure Sangiovese aromatics of wild cherry and plum cut in behind hints of smoke and earthy elements along with hints of dried roses and freshly cut leather. On the palate the wine is graceful, seemingly plump, while the tannins are a bit more present in the finish than is usual for them.

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- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world.


Specific Appellation:

Brunello di Montalcino

- Made from 100% Sangiovese grapes from a specific clone called "Brunello" in the town of Montalcino. Situated in the southwestern part of Tuscany the town of Montalcino sits on a ridge about 400 feet above the Eastern plain. This ridge divides the region into three diverse growing areas. The northeastern part produces wines with brighter fruit, more cherry and high tone notes and somewhat leaner body. The southeastern portion often referred to, as the "Golden Triangle" is the home of Biondi Santi, the family who invented Brunello and championed its production for half a century before anyone else. This region produces wines with rich body, deep ripe cherry to plum fruit with lots of earth and spice. The third portion is the southwesterly facing slope which is the warmest (hence the ripest grapes), consistently producing wines with more breadth and richness. At the turn of this century, there were more than 150 growers who produce the 233,000 cases annually from the 2863 acres inscribed to Brunello.