IAN D’AGATA’S 2019 VINTAGE REPORT
“Cecilia Leoneschi continues to study and push the envelope, going where few are venturing in Montalcino.”
These part few months have seen the start of the first en primeur tastings by international critics and journalists regarding the upcoming vintage, Brunello 2019, a vintage that for Castiglion del Bosco has been exceptional and characterised by great varietal expressions.
Among the first to publish his own vintage report is Ian D’Agata – wine writer for over 25 years and author of internationally renowned books, considered one of the foremost experts on Italian wine, as well as the wines of Alsace, Bordeaux and Canada. We were delighted to read his commentary on our wines and the approach of oenologist Cecilia Leoneschi written for TerroirSense.com:
“Cecilia Leoneschi, the talented winemaker at Castiglion del Bosco who deserves credit for basically reworking the brand’s previously uninspiring image and slowly but surely helping to make the wines under her tenure very inspiring, continues to study and push the envelope, going where few are venturing in Montalcino. And so it is that from 2003-2009 the winery replanted twenty of their sixty hectares (and in this replanting phase, the vines were placed at the top of the little hills that make up the estate’s holdings). It was during these years that she realized the vineyards could be subdivided into different plots that gave different wines.
In fact, Castiglion del Bosco has long paid attention to vineyard origin of their wines: for example, with their Campo del Drago Brunello, the estate was the first to produce a single vineyard Brunello in the Montalcino denomination. And this energy, passion, and study are lavished not only on the Brunello, but on the Rosso too: just imagine that Castiglion del Bosco is the only Montalcino estate I know of currently working on producing three different single-vineyard Rosso di Montalcino wines. Leoneschi is a precursor of things to come in Montalcino, and she deserves credit for her ideas, insight, and thinking outside the Montalcino box. No doubt, she will be copied by others around her soon enough.”
Ratings on our Brunello di Montalcino 2019
Castiglion del Bosco 2019 Brunello di Montalcino Campo del Drago 96
“Deep red with ruby tinges: this is the deepest coloured wine of the Castiglion del Bosco portfolio. Lovely perfume of violets, dark cherries, plums, minerals graphite and cocoa on the captivating nose. Enters big but suave, with fleshy dark berry and cherry flavours complicated by soy sauce and Oriental spices. The mouth coating finish is nobly polished, very deep and long, with building complexity and repeating notes of soy sauce, minty coffee and graphite….This will go on sale in one year’s time and it looks to be one of the stars of the 2019 vintage. I look forward to reassessing this beauty again when I retaste the 2019 wines at the next Benvenuto Brunello. Drinking window: 2029-2040”
Castiglion del Bosco 2019 Brunello di Montalcino 95
“Vibrant red. Captivating aromas of red berries, cherry, plum, pomegranate and watermelon. Then juicy and fresh, with youthfully chewy but noble tannins that nicely frame the red fruit and floral flavours. The aftertaste is long and pure, and features noteworthy candied violet perfume. Lovely Brunello from what is obviously an outstanding year. If this isn’t the best classic Brunello Leoneschi has ever made, it’s certainly in the top three. Well done. This will go on sale in one year’s time. Drinking window: 2028-2040.”