Aromas of forest floor, baked plum, clove and a balsamic whiff of eucalyptus lead the nose. The firmly structured palate offers fleshy wild cherry, raspberry, star anise, tobacco and nutmeg alongside chewy tannins.
A dry year that produced small berries and low yields that was saved by end of August and early September rains, which allowed vines to finish the ripening process. This has turned out to be a vintage of backbone and strength but with more composure than the heady and wild 2011. Impeccably balanced flavours of small red fruits and spices, red cherry, strawberry and spiced meats fortified by a solid tannic backbone. Assured, complex and crisply-defined. 60% of the grapes for this blend come from vines at Ragnaie itself, at 550 metres above sea level, the highest vines in Montalcino, complemented by grapes coming from Petroso and Castelnuovo dell’Abate. The wine is aged in large used wooden cask for 36 months.
Le Ragnaie is a wonderful new estate in Montalcino bought following the purchase of land and existing old vines by Riccardo and Jennifer Campinoti. The estate spreads accross15ha, 5ha of which are in the zone where the cellars are based, Le Ragnaie itself. These vines are the highest of any in Montalcino, at 550 metres above sea level, south facing in the central zone above Soldera di Case Basse. As one of the highest points in the region it became famous for bird catchers, in fact the traditional birdcatchers' net features on the label as part of the winery's logo. The estate takes its name from the fact that this net looked rather like a spider's web (Ragna, in Italian.) Complimenting these vineyards are those from Petroso, a vineyard area along the Scarnacuoia road below the village of Montalcino (one of the oldestwine making zones in the area.) in addition to some from Castelnuovo dell'Abate, a vineyard located in the southern sector of Montalcino in front of the Amiata Mountain, next door to Poggio di Sotto. Organic viticulture is employed, grapes are hand picked, de-stemmed, fermented and then aged in large 25 hl slavonian oak casks for 36 months. The high vineyards of Ragnaie that form the basis of the blend plus the long, gentle macerations result in enormously charming, aromatic and really quite high toned wines that still manage to retain the requisite power. A unique, extremely drinkable style of Brunello that will sweep you off your feet.
An important Tuscan DOCG known for the production of intensely powerful red wines made from the Brunello clone of Sangiovese which reaches levels of richness and structure not found elsewhere in Tuscany. The climate is arid and warm though cooled by a maritime breeze from the south west. The zone is essentialy split into two: a warmer southern region that producers earlier drinking, fuller wines, and the Northern, higher altitude zone on Galestro soils that produces more aromatic, finer examples. Brunello di Montalcino wines are released four years after the harvest, following extended ageing in cask, normally around three years. Rosso di Montalcino is the younger stablemate of Brunello; always 100% Sangiovese but bottled and released after only one year of ageing. Rossos are usually lighter and more approachable young than the famously long lived Brunellos.
Meaning Blood of Jove, or Jupiter, Sangiovese is the noble grape of Chianti, Carmignano, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile de Montpulciano. A fussy grape to grow, but when done properly can produce some of the world’s most enthralling red wines. It can produce lively, sappy young reds with juicy, cherry flavours, as well as more concentrated, long-lived, oak-matured reds with superb, savoury, herb and spice flavours. Quality has soared over the last year as productive clones have been grubbed up and since the old practices of blending it with weak, lean white grape varieties have died down.