ROSSO DI MONTALCINO
|Sub-district||Rosso di Montalcino|
Boldly spicy, with definite notes of cinnamon and clove, silky palate before a grip of tannin tightens. Beautiful balance and extraordinarily complex fruity and balsamic notes. A curious sense of elegance while there remains a certain old school rusticity - the tension between the two is fascinating. The wine builds itself in layers, ripely tannic, but with a sleek fruit core. Drinking range: 2020 - 2025 L&S (Mar 2020)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The 2017 Rosso di Montalcino opens with fresh strawberries offset by classic notes of leather, cedar shavings, dried florals and a hint of wild herbs. The finish is long, grippy too, with hints of fine tannin and a stimulating mix lingering acids, minerals and inner floral tones. What a beautiful Rosso for this warm vintage. Drinking range: 2020 - 2030 Rating: 92 Eric Guido, www.vinous.com(Apr 2020)
Bright light red. Offers bright, very pretty floral, red fruit and cedar aromas and flavors. An excellent Rosso, that finishes with a cool element and an austere, refined personality. Totally devoid of any gamey notes these wines have exuded at times in the past. Drinking range: 2020 - 2022 Rating: 91 Ian d'Agata, www.vinousmedia.com(Apr 2020)
The Padellettis are one of Montalcino's oldest families, and one with an illustrious past, stretching back into the 13th century at least. In 1529, Giovanni Padelletti, an architect, was given charge of a section of wall and two gates for the defence of the city against the Spanish invaders, and his descendants still own them. Under the Medicis they had to lie low, but by 1576 they are again listed as owning land and vineyards.
Over the centuries the quality of the wines of the area was improving. White grapes, commonly vinified with the red to make the wines drinkable younger, were excluded, and the best wines were aged in barrels made of oak imported from elsewhere, which did not make the wines as tannic as the local chestnut. It was over this time that the wine became known as Brunello, from the tawny-edged colour it took on from long oak-ageing.
The family had a rough time of it in the nineteenth century, many dying young, including Guido, a professor of three universities who died at thirty-five while fighting with Garibaldi, and his brother Dino. However, thanks to the stewardship of his great-uncle Domenico, Guido's son Carlo Augusto inherited a large estate in fine condition.
Carlo Augusto was one of those people you'd like to have met. With four doctorates to his name, he was a diplomat, a judge, a physician as well as being a remarkable industrialist. He by-passed the age of steam to bring electrical power to the region, with internal combustion generators powered by waste from forestry. By 1899 he had lit Montalcino with electricity, and this was followed by electric flour and saw mills, an olive press, and a brick kiln. He built a paper and book-binding industry, and eventually a cinema.
All this time Brunello was produced in tiny volumes, and it became clear that it was the alluvial soils at the foot of the Montalcino hill which produced the best wine. The Padellettis always had vines in the Rigaccini estate, a valley on the north side of the city which slopes down the east side of the fortress, with a soil enriched by volcanic debris from Monte Amiata. From this six hectares they select less than a quarter of the grapes for Brunello, a production of 7-8000 bottles. The wine is fermented in cement tanks and aged in large Slavonian oak casks, in the original cellar in central Montalcino, in Via Guido e Dino Padelletti, under the family's historic house.
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