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2007 Rosso di Montalcino, Az. Agr. Cerbaiona
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Scores and Reviews
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.
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.