Tenuta Corte Pavone

95+ | Brunello di Montalcino Cru „Fiore del Vento“ 2013
This is the inaugural release of a new single-vineyard wine from Loacker’s Corte Pavone estate in Tuscany. The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Corte Pavone Fiore del Vento (with only 1,800 bottles made) is a thickly endowed expression of Brunello that excels both in terms of bouquet and mouthfeel texture. This is a beautifully expressive wine in terms of aromas, with dark fruit, ripe cherry, blackberry, toasted almond, balsam herb and crushed mineral. You get the full Brunello package here, albeit on the modern and contemporary side of the style spectrum. Similar intensity and generosity are imparted to the palate, where the wine performs with balanced power and elegance. The wine could age, but it also drinks well straight out of the gate.

92 | Brunello di Montalcino 2014
Loacker’s 2014 Brunello di Montalcino Corte Pavone is an open and immediate wine that makes a good first impression. The wine delivers a savory side that is most apparent on first nose. It is composed of leather, spice and even a touch of smoked meat. Dark fruit remains at the core. Like the other wines from this vintage, the mouthfeel is on the short side, but the generosity of the bouquet does much to compensate this fact. In this difficult vintage, bottle production is only 5,000 strong.

93 | Brunello di Montalcino 2013
Deep, dark and sophisticated, the 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Corte Pavone is a solid buy from this vintage. The wine opens to an inky dark appearance and a deep garnet color. The aromas span over to black fruit, oak spice, tobacco and espresso. They definitely represent the more contemporary side of the Sangiovese bouquet. There is good textural firmness and volume here to glue all those strong flavors tightly together.

90+ | Rosso di Montalcino 2016
The 2016 Rosso di Montalcino Corte Pavone shows a darkly saturated color and robust appearance. The bouquet ushers forth a broad continuum of dark fruit nuances with grilled herb and anise seed. The wine is light in terms of mouthfeel with a compact approach and silky finish. This is an informal expression, but the quality of the fruit achieved in this vintage is clear. Some 10,000 bottles were made.

92+ | Brunello di Montalcino 2012
The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Corte Pavone is made according to an organic and biodynamic growing philosophy, yet the wine boasts a contemporary style that is immediate and appealing. The bouquet delivers soft and approachable aromas of dark cherry, blackberry confit, pipe tobacco, toasted espresso bean and even a touch of bitter chocolate. This Brunello offers more density to chew on, but there is also firm tannic structure at the back that keeps it from feeling too fleshy.

91 | Rosso di Montalcino 2015
The 2015 Rosso di Montalcino Corte Pavone offers a complete spectrum of dark fruit and blackberry aromas. The quality of fruit is intense, soft, rich and ripe. This is a great value deal from Montalcino. This wine will prove to pair easily with grilled meats or just a simple (but delicious) cheeseburger. The palate is firm in texture and simple in delivery. You absolutely can’t go wrong here.

92 | Brunello di Montalcino 2011
Opening to a dark ruby color and saturated consistency, the 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Corte Pavone is a standout wine. This producer adheres to a non-interventionist approach to winemaking and the quality of fruit is bold and opulent. This expression is much richer and denser next to its peers. Instead of red fruit aromas, the wine delivers an abundance of black fruit, plum and black currant. The wine is soft and approachable now, although it should continue to flesh out over the next five years.

91 | Brunello di Montalcino 2008
The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino is the most polished, refined wine I have ever tasted from Loacker. Ripe, silky tannins support a core of expressive dark red fruit in this gracious, mid-weight wine. Floral notes add lift on the finish. Sweet, succulent and expressive, the 2008 should drink well for the next handful of years. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018.

90 | Brunello di Montalcino 2005
The 2005 Brunello di Montalcino offers up black cherries, mocha, plums, rosemary, violets, spices and earthiness in a rich, full-bodied style. The wine possesses surprising depth and body, all of which carries through to the powerful, intense finish. This is one of the more muscular Brunellos readers will come across in 2005. Some rough edges remain but this is nevertheless a strong effort from Loacker. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.

91 | Brunello di Montalcino 2004
The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino is a fresh, vibrant offering bursting with dark cherries, violets, underbrush, minerals and sweet toasted oak on a medium-bodied frame. The wine reveals terrific balance in an energetic, focused style, with firm yet ripe tannins. The finish is long, clean and refreshing. This is a gorgeous effort from Loacker. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019.

91 | Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004
The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva bursts onto the palate with an array of ripe dark fruit, smoke, tobacco, incense and French oak. Notes of earthiness and tar run through the wine, adding a sense of darkness. The finish is long, rich and textured. With a little more finesse in the bouquet, this might very well merit a higher score. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.

91 | Brunello di Montalcino 2003
Corte Pavone’s 2003 Brunello di Montalcino is made in a full-bodied, opulent style bursting with super-ripe fruit. Spices, leather and sweet toasted oak emerge from the glass to round out this soft-textured modern Brunello. Early signs of development are already present, suggesting this wine will offer its greatest pleasure relatively early. 2008-2013.

93 | Brunello di Montalcino 1999
The 1999 Brunello di Montalcino Corte Pavone delivers a wonderful dose of complexity and sharpness that accompanies the wine as it glides smoothly over the palate. The still-evolving bouquet is comprised of dried flowers, garden herb, plum, forest floor and earth. By far the most notable characteristic is the etched floral tone of crushed red rose. It holds itself together beautifully, tight at its core, and shows a level of composure and focus that is rare for a Brunello of this age. Decant up to three hours before. Drink: 2014-2024.

Weingut Loacker

91 | Ateyon Chardonnay 2016
This is an IGT expression of Chardonnay from the far north of Italy. The Loacker 2016 Chardonnay Schwarhof Ateyon is a medium-bodied wine with substantial textural richness and density. This is a luminous Chardonnay with bright tones of tropical fruit, peach, melon and preserved lemon. The wine is neither heavy nor too thick, and ultimately, that makes all the difference.

91 | Ateyon Chardonnay 2011
The 2011 Ateyon Chardonnay (with 10% Kerner) is a thick and ripe expression of the grape with plush lines of apricot, lemon curd and pineapple with shadings of vanilla cream and custard. The finished wine is all aged in oak. This wine excels in the mouth where it shows mildly crisp acidity pitted against the natural heft and richness of the grape. In fact, a fine sense of structure and persistency is ultimately what distinguishes this pretty Chardonnay.

90 | Gran Lareyn Lagrein 2007
The 2007 Lagrein Gran Lareyn is a powerful, distinctive red laced with minerals, graphite, jammy dark fruit, herbs and spices. This super-concentrated, textured Lagrein offers exceptional balance and a long, impeccable finish. It also seems to have enough freshness to develop nicely in bottle. That said, it is pretty impressive, even at this early stage. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2019. This Alto Adige estate is part of the Loacker family’s holdings that also includes properties in Maremma and Montalcino. I only tasted two wines, but they were both delicious.