Red, Ready, but will improve

2007 Rosso di Montalcino, Az. Agr. Cerbaiona

2007 Rosso di Montalcino, Az. Agr. Cerbaiona

Red | Ready, but will improve | Cerbaiona, Tuscany | Code: 946823 | 2007 | Italy > Tuscany > Rosso di Montalcino | Sangiovese | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

91/100

WA - The 2007 Rosso di Montalcino is plump, juicy and utterly irresistible. Sweet red cherries lead to violets, spices and tobacco as this graceful, elegant, mid-weight wine opens up in the glass. A lovely vein of minerality frames the long, generous finish. This is another impeccable and classy wine from Cerbaiona. Though not inexpensive, the estate’s Rosso does offer a compelling glimpse into the genius of one of Montalcino’s most inspired producers. Occasionally the Rosso can be found at favorable pricing, and it is a must-buy. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2017.

If I had to put together a short list of the most privileged spots in Montalcino for Sangiovese, Cerbaiona would be near or at the top of that list. These white, poor soils encourage the vines to develop deep root systems and yield wines of notable structure. In top vintages the wines are nothing short of spectacular. Production remains tiny, at around 7,000 bottles for the Brunello, which I was reminded of as I negotiated the cramped cellars while tasting through a number of wines with proprietor Diego Molinari. Of the vintages in cask, so far 2006 looks to be the most promising. Readers in search of the finest artisan wines in Tuscany will find much to admire here.
(Antonio Galloni- Wine Advocate- April 2010)

The Producer

Cerbaiona, Tuscany

Cerbaiona, Tuscany

Tucked away off the Torronieri road the small Cerbaiona estate has been home to Diego & Nora Molinari since 1977, who produced their first vintage in 1980, all 70 bottles of it!

The estate comprises 3 hectares of vines & 12 ha of wood and olive grove; half planted to Brunello, the rest to Sant'Antimo and IGT Toscana (using Cabernet Sauvignon, Malvasia Nera, Merlot & Syrah). Production is limited to 8,000 bottles.

Lying on the north-eastern shoulder of the Montalcino commune the estate enjoys a fine eastern exposition at 390 metres elevation, with good aeration & galestro/alberese clay soils. This imbues the wines with a naturally good acidity. Diego does not use herbicides, pesticides or fungicides on his vines. This hands-off approach is reflected in their tiny winery, which is bolted onto the back of the 16th century property. A wooden press is preferred, followed by gentle vinification in cement & ageing/invecchiamento in 20hl slavonian botte.

The Brunello spends 30 mths in oak, followed by a year in bottle pre-release, while the Rosso sees 18 mths.

The Grape

Sangiovese

Sangiovese

A black grape widely grown in Central Italy and the main component of Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano as well as being the sole permitted grape for the famed Brunello di Montalcino.

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.

The Region

Rosso di Montalcino

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.

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