Master Sommelier Sur Lucero MS has tasted many thousands of wines while working at The French Laundry, The Little Nell, Meadowood and Daniel Boulud. So, when he raves about any wine that impresses him — we listen. “This is the best $40 Brunello I’ve tasted in a long time,” he told us, referring to this 2012 Mocali Brunello di Montalcino. “With this much polish and definition at this price? Unheard of," he said. James Suckling, Wine Spectator’s former Italian bureau chief clearly agrees scoring it 93 points, and praising its “lovely silky tannins,” in this overachieving wine that is “delicious now.”
Produced by the Ciacci family, the 2012 Mocali Brunello di Montalcino was grown from a small 14-acre vineyard, situated 900 feet up on the slopes just southwest of Montalcino. The vineyard’s Limestone-marl soils impart a distinct minerality to the wine, while the steep slopes provide excellent drainage — not to mention a gorgeous view of Castiglione del Bosco — adding concentration and silky texture to Sangiovese.
The hillside vineyards near the little village of Brunello produce the most highly sought after Sangiovese in the world, and prices frequently reaching into the triple digits reflect the soaring demand. That’s where Sur comes in. In our view, it’s an encyclopedic knowledge of wines that far overdeliver on their price tags that really makes a sommelier great, and Sur has this in spades. "I haven't seen such a pure, classic expression of Brunello, priced at $40 in 10 years,” he raved, as he emptied the bottle, making sure everyone in the office got a taste. There was no denying it: fresh and aromatic, powerful and dense, brimming with dark cherry and chocolate undertones. This was a winner.