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2014 Rosso di Montalcino, Lisini, Tuscany
Lisini is one of Montalcino's oldest wine estates. The Clementi family, being of Jewish origin from Venice, fought alongside the Medicis in their conquest of Montalcino, for which Capt. Silvio Clementi was rewarded with the Pecci palace in Montalcino, as well as buying another propriety in Sant’Angelo in Colle.
Today, signor Filippo Paoletti is responsible for making the five traditional wines, using cement and large oak casks: San Biagio IGT Toscano Rosso, Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Ugolaia Brunello di Montalcino Riserva (a single vineyard wine).
The ‘Casanova’ estate at Sant'Angelo in Colle, to give it its correct name, covers 154 hectares, of which 20ha are planted with the vine at approx.350 msl on 2 million year old Eocene sandy, clay and silt soils with a significant percentage of iron. Lisini’s first bottling took place in 1967, coinciding with that of the original twelve producers of the Brunello di Montalcino Consorzio. Cement tanks arrived in 1973, with Mario Rossi Ferrini the enologist during the 1970s.
Lisini's history stretches back to the original Clementi family. In 1846 Francesca Clementi married Lodivico Lisini at their Sant’Angelo in Colle estate; Lodovico being a Sienese proprietor of then much prized vineyards in Radda-in-Chianti, bearing Alessandro, who preferred administration to agriculture, and a daughter Emma, who took charge of the Chianti estate. Alessandro married Elina Paluffi in 1876, giving them a son Lodovico, an anti-fascist and a lawyer, who inherited the Sant’Angelo in Colle and immediately dedicated himself to the propriety. From his marriage to Caterina Ciampolini were born Maria (mother of Carlo and Lorenzo), Elina, Alessandro (father of Lodovica), and Giovangualberto.
With Lodovico’s death in 1950, his daughter Elina took over with passion and tenacity, believing in the estate’s potential and initiating the very first bottling until her death in 2009. Indeed the Lisini was among the founding fathers of the first Brunello di Montalcino Consorzio in 1963; with Elina becoming one of its Presidents. Today Carlo and Lorenzo (sons of Maria), and Lodovica (daughter of Alessandra) uphold the family tradition and continue her great work.
David Berry Green
It is a high yielding, late ripening grape that performs best on well-drained calcareous soils on south-facing hillsides. For years it was blighted by poor clonal selection and massive overcropping - however since the 1980s the quality of Sangiovese-based wines has rocketed upwards and they are now some of the most sought after in the world.
It produces wines with pronounced tannins and acidity, though not always with great depth of colour, and its character can vary from farmyard/leather nuances through to essence of red cherries and plums. In the 1960s the advent of Super Tuscans saw bottlings of 100% Sangiovese wines, as well as the introduction of Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon blends, the most famous being Tignanello.
Responsible for only 6 percent of Italy's total wine production in 2006 (half that of the Veneto) Tuscany may not be a heavyweight in terms of quantity, but as the home of two of the country's most famous fine wines - Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino - it certainly holds its own in terms of quality.Tuscany is Italy's most ancient wine region, dating back to the 8th century BC when the Etruscans developed the area in parallel with the Greeks, before ceding to the Romans. Along with building roads and sewers, they developed the region's viticultural potential, using wood for winemaking rather than amphorae, and passing their expertise onto their French neighbours. With the demise of Rome in the 5th century AD, the Longobards established Lucca as the capital of what was then known as Tuscia. Florence and Siena became banking and trading hubs during the Middle Ages, with Chianti – then a white wine – first documented in the 14th century.
Tuscany passed from the Medicis to the Habsburgs as part of the Holy Roman Empire, and then onto the Austrian Empire before becoming part of a reunified Italy in 1861. The quality of Chianti was first recognised by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III, who classified its finest areas in 1716.
Located in the west-central part of the country with the Tyrrhenian Sea lapping its coastline, Tuscany's climate ranges from Mediterranean on the coast to continental deep in the Apennines. More than two thirds of the province is covered with hills, an important terroir factor in the production of fine Tuscan wine. The finest such areas are Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Bolgheri. Sangiovese (in its various clones) is the black grape of choice.
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