Recommended by Tom Cannavan (wine-pages.com, Nov 2015)
About this WINE
La Serena, Tuscany
Local lad Andrea Mantengoli has been farming Cantina La Serena since 1988. The farm is next door to Cerbaiona and Biondi Santi, on the eastern shoulder of Montalcino. The vines here are grown at 200-400 metres’ altitude. This covers a range of different soil strata: atypically white and yellow tufo; sand; schist; and galestro. Each gives depth and detail to the wine.
Andrea and his twin brother, Marcello, manage the estate. They are proudly organic, and they use some biodynamic methods. In addition to grapes and vines, the ecosystem here includes spelt, grain, olives and honeybees.
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.