2016 Helichrysum San Polino


Helichrysum comes from the southeast, in the area of Podernovi where high altitudes counter the warmth. The vines are pruned closely to give low-yields of grapes with thick skins and less juice. More powerfully structured than the estate Brunello, this is mouthfilling and expansive. Baked asphalt and iron lend intrigue to youthfully exuberant plum and wild strawberry. The tannins seem to grab at every part of the mouth with a sandy, grainy texture, and the persistent finish features clove and allspice. Tons of energy here. Drinking range: 2024 - 2039 Rating: 97 Michaela Morris, Decanter (Apr 2021)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

Lustrous deep ruby. Huge depth on the nose, yet contained at the same time. Perfumed cherry with salty, minerally notes and a hint of damson. Lush, tangy and succulent on the palate with polished tannins adding chew and a fine grip. Very long with lots of juice and fruit, but without going over the top. (WS) 14.5% Drinking range: 2024 - 2038 Rating: 18.5 Walter Speller, (Mar 2021)

Wow. This is really complex on the nose with black cherries, mushrooms, dried flowers and cedar. Some crushed stone and dry earth or tile. This is full-bodied and very layered with wonderful depth of fruit and creamy tannins. It’s focused and serene. Better than 2015. From organically grown grapes. Try in 2024 and onwards. Drinking range: 2024 - Rating: 98 James Suckling, (Nov 2020)

Thirty years ago, Luigi Fabbro and Londoner Katia Nussbaum founded the 4 hectare San Polino – Montalcino’s first certified organic estate – in the northwest of the region. Luigi, a trained chemist and former computer scientist, brought his experiences mapping the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest to this corner of Tuscany, and the couple aim to “create wines as complete reflections of the biodiversity of the terroir”.

Blessed with an extraordinary range of soil types across their land – from ancient sea beds to volcanic minerals - they are self-proclaimed extremists when it comes to organic farming, using microorganisms in place of sulphur and copper in the vineyard. Their own compost is made from the stalks and skins from the grapes, and grasses and beans are regularly planted to add nutrients to the soil and increase biodiversity. The wines undergo spontaneous fermentation from indigenous yeasts, and see a 45-day maceration on skins, before being pressed and raised in large Slavonian and French oak for three years. 5% of the oak is new, for a hint of spice.

The philosophy of biodynamics, with its emphasis on harmony and balance, plus obsessive care in the winemaking, lends the wines a phenomenal amount of elegance and purity of fruit, with a finish that seems to go on forever. James Suckling is a follower of these wines, hailing the 2015 as “superb” – and the 2016 even better.


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