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2006 Brunello di Montalcino, Campi di Fonterenza, Tuscany
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Scores and Reviews
Fonterenza, an ancient 35ha estate at 420 metres above sea level, whose origins date back to 1462, near the village of Sant'Angelo in Colle was revived by the Padovani family in 1975, planting 4 hectares of it with vines in 1999; 24 hectares remains undisturbed woodland and 7 hectares is given over to olive groves.
The winery was installed in 2002, coinciding with the inaugural vintage. In the quest for perfect fruit lies a commitment to organic viticulture by the Padovani sisters, Francesca and Margherita. They pore over the vines, often assisted by their father and mother.
Vinification takes place in 17.5hl new slavonian oak fermenters, using only wild yeasts, followed by 'affinamento' elevage in larger 37hl slavonian oak. No fining or filtration takes place prior to bottling of what is only a few hundred cases of each wine.
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.
Rosso di Montalcino is a large Tuscan DOC, to the far south of the Chianti Classico region, which has been classified since 1983.
The wines are fruity, soft, light and forward-maturing. They come from Sangiovesse vines outside the finer Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, harvested at up to 62 hl/ha, or from declassified Brunello fruit (often from young vines) in which case the yield must be the same as Brunello wines, at 55 hl/ha.