Undoubtedly this month’s biggest release will be Sassicaia 2016, the first vintage to score the perfect 100 points by the Wine Advocate since the legendary 1985, the vintage that made Sassicaia a global icon for fine wine. Reviewer Monica Larner states that "the 2016 vintage shows pinpoint sharpness and precision” and “stands tall next to the epic 1985” offering “an exquisitely rare and indisputably compelling encore performance of one of the greatest Italian wines ever made”. Demand will be off the scale and we advise you to Register Your Interest at the earliest opportunity here.
Sassicaia is not the only fine wine to be released from Italy this month however. After two sensational vintages in 2015 and 2016 in both Tuscany and Piedmont there is plenty to get excited about as wines from these vintages start to be released. This month sees a number of top Barolo producers releasing their 2015s including Vietti, Pio Cesare and Bruno Giacosa. Whilst we await the critics' scores and reviews of the vintage, we have been talking to and tasting Barolo 2015 from top producers throughout the region to get our own impression of the vintage; you can read our early vintage insight here. It’s safe to say that 2015 is a vintage defined by its charming tannins with no shortage of fruit concentration. The wines have great phenolic ripeness resulting in great tannin development and distinctly complex, beguiling aromas.
More top releases from Tuscany will be available later in February, of which the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2013s will be of serious interest to fine wine collectors. 2013 in Brunello is a "modern classic" vintage, growing in reputation as the wines age. Top releases will come from firm F+R favourites Poggio di Sotto, Canalicchio di Sopra, Altesino and Casanova di Neri. Watch this space!
2017 Burgundy En Primeur has been a whirlwind throughout the last three months and February sees the last flurry of releases from this delightful and approachable vintage. With great reviews for both white and reds, and plenty on offer, demand has never been so high. If you have been waiting for your favourite releases this will be the last month to secure them at first tranche prices. Top releases we will be seeing in February include Domaine Jean Grivot, Gros Frere & Soeur and Domaine Lamarche. Yet to find what you are looking for? Get in touch with your Account Manager for bespoke recommendations.
Finally, we are expecting the annual release of the ultra-rare wines from Domaine D’Auvenay this month. Domaine d’Auvenay is run by Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy, a winemaker that Robert Parker says: “stands virtually alone at the top of Burgundy’s quality hierarchy" with wines that are “some of the richest, most complex, most age-worthy of the white Burgundies". More recently, William Kelley of Wine Advocate stated: “it's irrefutable: these are simply the best white wines produced in contemporary Burgundy”, and on the red wines “the d'Auvenay Bonnes Mares and Mazis-Chambertin age brilliantly, developing into searingly intense but effortlessly transparent, finely etched expressions of their respective appellations”. The releases from Domaine d’Auvenay are erratic and varied. It is impossible to predict which vintage of which appellation will come next. But what is guaranteed is that availability will be extremely limited, quality will be exceptional, critics' scores will be high and demand will be fierce. We can't wait.