About this WINE
La Serena, Tuscany
Local lad Andrea Mantengoli and his family have been farming Cantina La Serena since 1988. The seven-hectare property sits close to neighbours Cerbaiona on the north-eastern shoulder of Montalcino, blessed with atypically white tuffo limestone soils. Proudly organic, Andrea sees his estate as a complete farm: he takes pride in the health of his spelt, grain, olives, honeybees and vineyards. They all benefit each other’s ecosystem and biodiversity – as does the quality of his grapes and wines.
The tuffo soils give the wines a mineral poise which is rarely found in Montalcino. He nurtures his vines the smartest way possible, yielding a transparent vista of his beloved farm and great terroir. Andrea pairs the organic approach with some modern practices. He uses gravity-fed tanks and steel as well as both large Slavonian barrels and smaller French barriques for ageing. This yields a compelling expression of Sangiovese – first and foremost terroir-driven, but with a contemporary shine. Like Andrea himself, his Brunello is full of energy and fiercely Tuscan.
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.
Recommended by Tom Cannavan (wine-pages.com, Nov 2015)