The sangiovese grapes at Baricci are still hanging on the vine late into the 2015 harvest season. Dark, plump, juicy vessels of unbridled flavor and complexity that should result in an intensely flavored wine capable of aging more than a decade in the cellar. The word at Baricci is the same word that Greg has been hearing all week in Tuscany: this has been one of the best growing seasons in memory. The proof is hanging there right in front of your face; the fleshiness of the grapes speaks volumes.
The Baricci vineyard sits on the southeastern slope of the famed Montosoli vineyard site, one of (if not the most) famous in Montalcino. Nello Baricci's grandson, Francesco Buffi, is helping run the estate now. He's one of the guys responsible for the incredible 2010 Baricco Rosso di Montalcino, which the AIS (Association of Italian Sommeliers) voted one of the best wines in all of Italy a few years back. I think I drank about twenty bottles of that wine on my own, so I can't wait to see what the 2010 Brunello brings when it finally arrives. If you didn't know, Baricci is yet another of our exclusive direct imports here at K&L—a property Greg has been working with for more than a decade.
Frederico Buffi and his son Tommy (hopefully part of the next generation of Baricci winemakers) were also on hand to welcome Greg back to Montalcino. The boys spent the late afternoon touring the vineyards and tasting the fruit right from the vine.
To celebrate the occasion, they dug deep into the reserves and pulled out a bottle of the 1971 vintage—the first Brunello made at Baricci. More than forty years later, the wines are as good as they've ever been.