Wine Enthusiast 99
"Earthy aromas of blue flower, rose, underbrush and leather mingle together on this gorgeous, fragrant red. All about finesse and flavor, the medium-bodied palate is absolutely delicious, featuring juicy morello cherry, crushed raspberry, baking spice, star anise and the barest hint of game. It's radiant and beautifully balanced thanks to taut, polished tannins and bright acidity. It's already showing incredibly well but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2022–2036."
Wine Advocate 96+
"Le Potazzine always delivers a smooth and silky style with extreme elegance and the lifted cool-climate fruit that you get from this high-altitude growing site. The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is taut and firm with cherry fruit, dried raspberry, tilled earth, spice and blue flower. The wine sees an extended fermentation of 40 days and ages in botte grande for 42 months. This is a well-balanced wine that is slightly thinner, with one notch lower intensity in this vintage compared to past editions. You get a light, sharp and streamlined style. I prefer the 2015 vintage slightly to this wine, but I'm suggesting a longer drinking window here. This is an 18,000-bottle release that hits the market in January 2021."
Vinous Media 95
"The remarkably pretty 2016 Brunello di Montalcino shows a pure bouquet full of wild strawberries, woodland berries and herbs with a hint of crushed stone. Its soft and enveloping, displaying fleshy red fruits, savory spice and salty minerals, while vibrant acids maintain wonderful freshness. Its only at the very end that its youthful structure comes forward, grippy and classically drying, yet under an air of red licorice and inner rose. Theres a beautiful harmony to this vintage of Le Potazzine, which should provide a long and wide drinking window. -- Eric Guido"
Jams Suckling 94
"This is a cooler style of Brunello with blueberries, black cherries, crushed stones and lavender. Its full-bodied with firm, tight tannins. Yet, it opens at the end to pinpointed fruit and tannins. Give this time to soften. Try after 2024."
100 Sangiovese from two vineyards in Montalcino: Le Prata close to Montalcino with SE exposure at 500m above sea level; and La Torre in SantAngelo in Colle with SW exposure at 420m above sea level. Fermentation and maceration lasts 30 days. The wine then matures for 40 months in large oak cask before finishing in the bottle for 12 months before release. 1500 cases produced annually
There is no person more Montalcino than Gigliola Giannetti. Born and raised in Montalcino, her first full time job was working for Franco Biondi Santi, owner of one of the towns most famous estates in 1985. But she wasnt content to stay very longin 1987 Gigliolas entrepreneurial spirit brought her to open her own wine shop on the main drag of Montalcino. In her work for the Consorzio di Vino Brunello di Montalcino, she had befriended the legendary consultant Giulio Gambelli, who later stewarded the founding of her own estate when she bought her first parcel of land in 1993, coinciding with her daughter Violas birth. In 1996, she purchased another parcel of land in SantAngelo in Colle, La Torre, coinciding with her second daughter Sofias birth. 1997 was the first vintage of Brunello Le PotazzineLe Potazzine was the nickname Gigliolas mother had given her two delightful granddaughters, local dialect for a songbird noted for its beauty and happiness. The wines immediately thrilled clients and critics alike, and even though it was the moment of the barrique, Gigliola was never tempted to change her aging regime from large Slavonian cask. The wines were always laser pure expressions of Montalcino terroir with an appealing elegance, and they remain so today. Both Potazzine now work with their mother at the estate, guaranteeing the continuity of a future generation.
Fermentations at the cantina are traditional: done with native yeasts at ambient temperature and long up to 30 days for both Brunello and Rosso. Both wines age in Slavonian oak casks of 30-50 hectoliters; Brunello for 42 months, and Rosso up to 12 months, and the rarest of all Riserva up to 60 months. It should be noted, however, that Le Potazzine has only made a Riserva four times in 25 years of production: 2004, 2006, 2011 and 2015. All 5 hectares of Le Potazzines vineyards are classified for the production of Brunello, so their Rosso is of course declassified Brunello. The family has always worked organically, but from 2019 all wines will be certified organic (even if not stated on the label).
Le PotazzineView all from Le Potazzine
Few estates in Montalcino can count an in-house enologist as an owner, but Giuseppe Gorelli of Le Potazzine is just that. Before founding his own estate, he worked as an enologist at the Consorzio del Brunello for 15 years with the great Giulio Gambelli, the man behind Pergole Torte and the 100% Sangiovese movement in Tuscany. In the late 1980s, Giuseppe came home to roost at his father's tiny estate near Castiglione del Bosco, known as Due Portine, and started making traditionally-crafted, artisan Brunello, which he produced from vintages 1987 to 1998.
In 1993, while running Due Portine, Giuseppe and his wife Gigliola purchased a 3.5 hectare farm at 500 meters above sea level right next door. They named it 'Le Potazzine,' which in the dialect of Montalcino it describes a highly-colored bird noted for its loveliness and happiness, after the nickname Gigliola's mother had given her two young daughters. In 1998, Giuseppe's father sold Due Portine, and the couple concentrated their efforts at Le Potazzine. The results thrilled clients and critics alike, and though it was the "moment of the barrique," Giuseppe and Gigliola never felt the need to experiment or change. The wines were always laser pure expressions of Montalcino terroir with an appealing elegance, and they remain so today.
Fermentations at the cantina are traditional: done at ambient temperature and long – up to 30 days for both Brunello and Rosso. Both wines age in Slavonian oak casks of 30-50 hectoliters; Brunello for 42 months, and Rosso up to 12 months. All of Le Potazzine's vineyards (now measuring 5ha with an extra 1.5 ha purchased in Sant'Angelo in Colle) are classified for the production of Brunello, so the Rosso is of course declassified Brunello. Giuseppe has always worked organically, but from 2019 all wines will be certified organic (even if not stated on the label).