Founded in the sixties by Primo Pacenti, Canalicchio di Sopra remains family-owned. Its establishment represented a substantive risk, as Pacenti, a peasant farmer up until the abolition of the sharecropping system, possessed little in the way of security. The Brunellos of the estate largely reflect the wine’s historical paradigm, a character derived, in part, through 36 months of cask aging, and 1 year in bottle. The northern zone, the area relative to Canalicchio, evidences a cooler climate than that of its southern counterpart; this northern terrain receives limited exposure to both the Mediterranean influence of Montalcino and the cooling breezes that the latter’s high altitude affords, resulting in wines that display impressive ripeness and structure.
What The Critics Say
96/100 Decanter, Michaela Morris
"With this wine, Canalicchio di Sopra marks its 50th vintage of Brunello. It is a superb tip of the hat to founder Primo Pacenti by his highly capable grandchildren Francesco, Marco and Simonetta Ripaccioli, who now run the property. It expresses gradually and graciously both on the nose and the palate with wild flowers, forest berries and fresh earth emerging out of a sapid and minerally core. Brilliantly mid-weight but not lacking depth, this demonstrates brightness of fruit, delectable acidity, plenty of fine-grained tannins and a lingering finish." Drink 2021 - 2034
95/100 Parker's Wine Advocate, Monica Larner
"This bottle marks the special 50th anniversary of this wine. A little red sticker on the front label commemorates the five decades that have passed since grandfather Primo Pacenti did his first harvest. The medium-weight Canalicchio di Sopra 2015 Brunello di Montalcino shows a generous spread of forest fruit, licorice, blue flower, bay leaf, Provence herbs and fragrant wet soil aromas. There is a touch of earthy muskiness that some like to refer to as "foxy." Fruit for this Brunello represents a selection of clusters harvested over 10 hectares at 300 to 320 meters above sea level in two sites: Canalicchio and Montosoli. Canalicchio has clay soils for the structure of the wine, and Montosoli adds to the clarity of the aromas. All the vines are over 10 years old. Fermentation is in stainless steel, and aging spans 36 months in Slavonian oak casks. This wine from the warm and sunny 2015 vintage maintains its trademark crispness and freshness nonetheless. This vintage is available in bottles of various sizes, with more large formats filled to celebrate this 50th anniversary. It was bottled in May 2019 (37,520 750-millilter bottles were produced, not counting the large formats) and released in January 2020." Drink 2021 - 2040
95/100 Vinous, Eric Guido
"The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino from Canalicchio di Sopra - Ripaccioli is superb. The nose is dark and mineral-inflected with a blast of crushed raspberry, cherry and darker blackberry fruits wafting up from the glass, as sweet florals, underscored by moist soil and hints of cedar amass. On the palate, silky, almost creamy textures, offset by a stunning mix of salty-minerals and acids with savory herbs, and inner earth tones tempted the senses for another sip. The finish is remarkably long, resonating on minerals and dark fruits, almost balsamic and spicy, as its tannic structure comes forward and reminds me that this Brunello is still just a baby. What a gorgeous expression of Sangiovese." Drink 2024 - 2038
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