2018 Rosso di Montalcino, Lisini, Tuscany, Italy
Eric Guido, vinous.com (November 2020)
About this WINE
The history of Lisini dates to the time of the Medicis. This is one of Montalcino’s oldest estates, and a founding member of the Corsorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino. Lisini is one of the few producers in Sant’Angelo in Colle, in the south-west of Montalcino.
The proximity here to Maremma gives maritime breezes warding against summer heat, which is especially important in as hot and dry a year as 2017. Thick woodland, olive groves and wild scrubs surround the 25 hectares under vine – a rural haven of the region’s finest terroir. An ancient river system sculpted the area, and with it the complex soils in Lisini’s vineyards. Fossil laced sand, clay and iron-rich soils, paired with altitudes of 300-400 metres, all play a leading role in the unique personality of Lisini’s wines.
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.
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.
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This comes from the same selection of vines as Lisini’s Brunello. Long, cool maceration on skins and fermentation in cement is followed by 12 months in Slavonian botti; this preserves the vintage’s delicacy and its fresh, crunchy, wild strawberry hue. Lisini’s mineral backbone is perhaps even more apparent here due to less oak and micro-oxygenation influence. Drink now to 2030.
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