Of the many wine producing regions of Italy, we concentrate principally on two - Tuscany and Piedmont - where arguably the finest wines are made. Tuscany is the home of Sangiovese - which finds its greatest expression in the wines of Montalcino - while Piedmont is the home of Nebbiolo - the grape variety of Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, we have wines from Friuli in the far northeast, close to the border with Slovenia, from the Veneto (particularly famous for the sparkling wines made from Prosecco) and from Umbria, where quality can be very fine, while price remains remarkably reasonable.

Wine production in Italy has undergone an extraordinarily rapid period of change over the last 20 to 30 years. Gone is the obsession, born at least in part from the impoverishment of the post-War years, for producing the maximum possible volume from the vineyards, which resulted in the production of vast quantities of dilute, under-ripe and poorly made wines. The generation of the increasingly affluent decades of the 1970s and 1980s, which has now taken control of family vineyards, has very different ideas. The transparency of the global market, and the competition for the attention of wine drinkers has brought in its wake the realisation that wine, however cheap, will not sell if the quality is not there. Now we have a generation of Italian producers making wines of the highest quality at all levels of price.

Siro Pacenti

A 20 hectare estate of which 13 hectares are south of Montalcino, and 7 to the north, where the winery is to be found, a mile or so off the road to Buonconvento and Siena. Giancarlo Pacenti’s new winery is a truly a state of the art construction, allowing him the space and facilities to meet his self-imposed exacting standards.  I was amused by his statement that the sorting table is always staffed by women – on the grounds that their work in picking out any grapes not in absolutely perfect condition is so much more precise and reliable.  Giancarlo is fortunate to have a high proportion of old vines – 40-45 years – amongst his holdings, planted by his maternal grandfather, Alessandro Pieri; it is to these that he attributes the exceptional complexity of his wines.  He may be right – but it takes a great wine maker to bring such potential to fruition in the winery.

Siro Pacenti


2007 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva P S, Siro Pacenti x 6
 6 Bottles
"Pacenti’s flagship bottling, the 2007 Brunello di Montalcino PS is striking. Sweet roses, red berries, cinnamon and dried flowers all mesh together in the glass. Sweet, layered and totally impeccable, Pacenti’s 2007 PS is one of the standouts of the year. It boasts stunning overall balance and class to burn. Silky tannins support the stunning, utterly gracious finish. 95+" Antonio Galloni in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #207 
2008 Rosso di Montalcino, Siro Pacenti x 6
 6 Bottles
Very dark ruby colour. Powerful concentration of dark fruits with wonderfully textured tannins. Very long-lasting on the finish. Superb. 
2008 Brunello di Montalcino, Siro Pacenti x 6
 6 Bottles
Bursting with fresh red cherry and violet scents. Fabulous sweet attack of fruit on the palate. Concentrated, harmonious and very long lasting fruit flavours dominate in the mouth. Fine grained tannins. 
2009 Rosso di Montalcino, Siro Pacenti x 6
 6 Bottles
"The 2009 Rosso di Montalcino shows off tons of finesse and elegance in its plump fruit and juicy personality. The flavors build beautifully through to the rich, textured finish. 89" Antonio Galloni in Robert Parker 
2011 Brunello di Montalcino Pelagrilli, Siro Pacenti x 6
 6 Bottles
"A captivating, radiant wine, the 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Pelagrilli offers striking depth and nuance. Sweet dark cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and tobacco all flesh out in the glass. The Pelagrilli is without question one of the best wines of the year. Crushed flowers, tobacco, mint and sweet dried cherries grace the long, precise finish. The Pelagrilli is a blend of fruit from the north (80%) and south (20%) of Montalcino, aged in 45-50% new oak. I especially like the sense of energy here. 93" Antonio Galloni in Vinous 
2011 Brunello di Montalcino Vecchie Vigne, Siro Pacenti x 6
 6 Bottles
"The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Vecchie Vigne is deep, powerful and explosive. The gravitas of the old vines and the blend of fruit that incorporates fruit from the southern end of the zone in equal parts with the north comes through loud and clear. Macerated cherries, smoke, spices, leather, licorice and French oak flesh out in a dense, stylish Brunello that captures the essence of the Pacenti house style. Drink this creamy, voluptuous Brunello over the next decade or so. 95" Antonio Galloni in Vinous 
2012 Brunello di Montalcino Pelagrilli, Siro Pacenti x 6
 6 Bottles
2012 Brunello di Montalcino Vecchie Vigne, Siro Pacenti x 6
 6 Bottles
2014 Rosso di Montalcino, Siro Pacenti x 6
 6 Bottles
"The 2014 Rosso di Montalcino is one of the better Rossos of the vintage. Dark, pliant and expressive, the 2014 offers notable depth, with plenty of dark red cherry, plum, mocha and spice notes. This is a commendable effort from Giancarlo Pacenti, and one of the rare overachievers of the vintage. In 2014, Pacenti declassified a significant portion of his Brunello down to the Rosso, and that was after losing 50% of the total crop to bad weather. 89-91" Antonio Galloni in Vinous 

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