Robert Parker 89
Candace Máté’s 2012 Brunello di Montalcino opens to a dark and savory color that is characteristic of the vintage. The wine’s dark saturation is definitely pushed to Sangiovese’s limits in terms of where it stands on the color intensity scale. The bouquet reveals aromas of dried fruit and prune backed by very prominent, almost monolithic notes of savory tobacco. Moist chewing tobacco is more specific. Máté’s house style embraces generous oak. This wine is aged in French Allier tonneaux for two years and is then left to integrate in large 40-hectoliter casks. Past vintages have seemed too spicy and oaky to me, but this edition has more ripe and succulent fruit to balance out any extremes. Overall, this is a dark, penetrating and powerful wine.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2025
Bright red. Extremely forward aromas of peach nectar, blood orange, and strawberry jam, plus a dusting of licorice. Enters rich, round and soft, then turns almost hard with mounting, tough tannins giving the flavors of coffee, cardamom and red cherry an austere quality. The long finish is bright and juicy, but this is not much fun right now. Lay it away for four or five years and see if it blossoms, but I wonder.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2030