2015 Montebello, Badia a Coltibuono, Tuscany, Italy
Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct 2020)
The 2015 Montebello is also terrific. Based on a rough split of Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Fogliatonda, Malvasia Nera, Mammolo, Pugnitello, Sanforte, and Sangiovese, aged 12-14 months in casks and held in bottle for 6 months, it offers a soft, deliciously satisfying, medium-bodied style as well as lively cherry fruits, spice box, leafy herbs, and dried earth-like aromas and flavours. It's already hard to resist, and I see no need to delay gratification.
Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (June 2020)
About this WINE
Badia a Coltibuono, Tuscany
Located in Gaiole in Chianti, Badia a Coltibuono’s history dates back to 1051, to the Vallombrosan order of monks, whose fine abbey (‘Badia’ ) still stands proud at the heart of the wine property; ‘Coltibuono’ means ‘good crop’ by the way. Current owners, the Stucchi Prinetti family have only been in residence since its purchase in1846 by great great grandfather and Florentine banker Michele Giuntini, cousin of the Selvapiana family of Rufina.
The present generation, siblings Emanuela, Roberto, Paolo & Guido, now run the show, bringing this most traditional of wine estates up to date. At 74ha it’s no garage operation, but it is fortunate in owning a significant slice of subzone/sottozona Monti in Chianti, whose excellent terroir is much prized.
Another asset is their stock of ancient Sangiovese clones, which they have used to replant key sites at higher densities of 7-8,000 Sangiovese plants per hectare; as opposed to the ultra traditional pattern of low densities of red and white grapes.
In 1996 they built a new winery in Monti, and with the 2003 harvest their fruit was certified ICEA organic. Roberto Stucchi Prinetti remarks that since going organic they’ve noticed that the fermentations have been easier to follow. He adds that though they’ve sacrificed journalist ‘Points’ they’re more than happy with the pale elegance of their wines. They also produce a Chianti Classico Riserva.
There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.
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This is a distinctive and rare blend of nine Tuscan grape varieties, grown at 300 metres’ altitude on the fossil-filled limestone Montebello vineyard. Each variety is vinified separately, then aged for 20 months – in oak barrel, then large cask.
The results are complex and expressive, with a nose of wild sage, bay leaf and stewed black fruits. The palate is open and rich, with dried plums, chinotto, black cherries and peppery spice, all framed by firm-but-glossy tannins. Enjoy this with the local wild boar or slow-cooked ragù.
Drink now to 2030
Davy Żyw, Senior Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd (September 2021)
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