​Winemaking was gentle and grapes skins were comprised. We kept fermentation at low temperatures and fortunately finished fermentations in a relatively short time, allowing us to take the wine off the skins early. We never use press wine for either 


Difficulties travel in pairs. After a 2017 that exposed Montalcino to extreme heat and a lack of rain (and the benefit of virtually no vineyard disease), 2018 moved us in the opposite direction, if not the extreme: a cool and wet spring with extremely high exposure to vineyard disease, a mild and promising summer, and then unfortunate rains while we waited for a much needed final few weeks of growing before harvest.

The lowest production in the number of bottles produced (under 6,000) in over a decade at Cerbaiona, and no 2018 Rosso di Montalcino at all, explains that 2018 was a vintage to be determined by choice and sacrifice.  

​We bottled the 2018 Cerbaiona Brunello on May 1, 2021, as it is the “new” Cerbaiona’s winemaking view to bottle early and preserve the wines brightness and longevity. Waiting too long to bottle only dulls both prospects. After the high and taught Sangiovese notes of the 2017 Brunello, I was thrilled to taste the 2018 from bottle - open but deeper fruit, almost
velvety and ready to drink. I wondered, however, who it would be two years hence.
Today, as I write over two years later, I am once again surprised that the 2018 continues on its expressive path. As I said with the release of the 2017 and mentioned above, the 2018 is again, not a wine to cellar for the long term. (No worries, at this time, Cerbaiona has bottled both its 2019 and 2020 Brunello and you will have plenty for a longer time in the cellar on those.) My suggestion is to enjoy this wine’s refinement now and over the next four years, until 2027 or so. This is another vintage for the connoisseur, that true lover of wine and the vine. So be it if the “collector” misses out. 

Brunello or Rosso di Montalcino - press wine goes into the VDT - but in 2018, we were so focused on keeping the free run wine as pure as possibile, we did not press at all. We wanted the skins gone and away as soon as possibile. i.

Like 2017, the 2018 is Brunello that is not intended for long cellaring. But it is worthy of positive consideration and much dignity. Unlike the 2017, the 2018 has a more saturated colour, brighter and fuller, more expressive fruit - pure and delineating of a “cooler” vintage. As I wrote last year in presenting the 2017, while I would have wished different climatic conditions, in viticulture, you take what nature throws at you and wishes are not part the equation. Satisfaction comes in taking count when the wine is complete. ​With the 2018 Cerbaiona Brunello, I can reveal a certain satisfaction that difficult conditions were managed such that we have a wine of fine Brunello expression - a certain brightness and immediate quality - while still profound - that is not so often found in the appellation. This is a vintage not to be missed: Because it is truly unique; and not because it is one of the all time greats. In itself, this fact conveys something very important about the appreciation and enjoyment of Brunello.

Analytic Data

Alcohol: 14.3%
Residual Sugar: 0.12 g/l

Total Dry Extract: 28.5 g/l pH: 3.34
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/l
Volatile Acidity: 0.53 g/l

Free SO2: 20 ppm

Total SO2: 56 ppm

Bottled: May 1, 2020

Production:  5,928 - 750ML bottles & 300 1.5L Magnums
Closure: Mureddu Grand Cru IGEA, 26 x 54, vintage marked ‘2018’ on both heads; gommalacca-soft wax seal.
Packaging: 6 x 750ML in nail closed, wood case; Magnum in single magnum, sliding covered, wood box.

Matthew Fioretti - Cerbaiona, Montalcino