The persuasive charm and attentive embrace of the Sassetti family lures one to the vineyards, cellar and people who have farmed some of Montalcino’s finest vineyards for over a century. Four generations of the Sassetti family have made wine in Montalcino. Livio worked the historic property through the late 1970s, then purchased the 16 hectare vineyard of the now–famous Podere Pertimali. The Podere is in the Montosoli area, north of Montalcino, a particularly well-known area for the cultivation of the Sangiovese grape. Faithful to the teachings of the family, Livio and Lorenzo have over time renewed and expanded the vineyards, preserving the genetic heritage of the old vines and preserving the primigenie characteristics.
If checking in early, make sure to give the towering 2016 Brunello di Montalcino from Pertimali plenty of time to stretch its legs. It’s incredibly shy and backward upon first pulling the cork, coming to life nearly an hour later and never taking a step back from there on out. A beguiling display of spiced orange peels, sour cherry and mint pull you closer to the glass, where notes of cardamom, cinnamon, clove and sage reside. It’s dangerously soft and supple at first sip with fleshy red fruits and sweet spices blanketing the palate; yet beneath this soothing mix, a complex web of minerals and fine tannin slowly saturate. That said, there’s a lively bolt of acidity which maintains freshness in spite of the 2016’s heroic structure. Inner florals resonate along with a hint of white pepper, as it tapers off with classic austerity. This is a gorgeous vintage for Pertimali. 2024 – 2040
Named # 1 Italian Wine of 2020
Named #3 of Top 100 Wines of 2020
Blackberries, black walnuts and black cherries, as well as loads of chewy tannins. Some smoked wood, wood tannins and even black truffles. It’s full-bodied and powerful with loads going on. It just keeps growing on the palate. So much wet earth and black olive at the finish with porcini mushrooms, too. Needs time to soften. Crazy finish. Try after 2025.
Red berry, violet and menthol aromas fill the glass alongside a whiff of underbrush in this full-bodied red. The tightly wound palate offers Marasca cherry, licorice, tobacco and a hint of game set against a backbone of assertive, fine-grained tannins. Flashes of bright acidity keep it balanced. Drink 2024–2036.
Muddled plum and cherry flavors are enhanced by leather, black tea and iron notes in this sleek yet beefy red. Chewy tannins line the finish, yet this remains lively and finds a nice equilibrium in the end. Best from 2024 through 2047. 4,600 cases made, 2,000 cases imported.
Lorenzo Sassetti continues in his father’s footsteps and crafts one of the most beautiful examples of Brunello. The normale bottling is raised in thirty hectoliter botti of three years prior to bottling. The 2016 version is fairly ripe at 14.5 percent octane, but also pure and precise on both the nose and palate. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a complex blend of cherries, red plums, cigar wrapper, gamebird, a beautiful base of soil, lovely brown spice tones, bonfire and cedary oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and nicely soil-driven, with a good core of fruit, lovely transparency down to the soil, fine-grained tannins and a long, ripe and complex finish. This is still a young wine and really deserved plenty more bottle age before drinking, just to let its tannins soften up and its secondary layers of complexity to start to emerge. That said, if one is tempted and does not mind a bit of tannin, decant it for thirty or forty minutes and it is really already quite tasty. 2028 – 2065