Montebello 2011: nine native grapes for just one Toscana IGT
Mammolo, Ciliegiolo, Pugnitello, Colorino, Sanforte, Malvasia nera, Canaiolo, Fogliatonda and the inevitable Sangiovese, are the 9 native grapes that, in equal parts, make up the Montebello Toscana IGT 2011 by the Badia a Coltibuono winery, in Monti in Chianti. The new wine from the Tuscan winery was presented by Emanuela and Roberto Stucchi Prinetti, on 20th April at the Ristorante Berton in Milan.
Nine varieties for just one Tuscan IGT
“We consider ourselves experts on Sangiovese in the Chianti area” Emanuela Stucchi Prinetti began, “with the Montebello we are completing the long work of research, recovery and experimentation of historic grape varieties from Chianti. There are 9 varieties that have always been included in the traditional grape blends of Chianti Classico, mostly fallen into disuse, but we have recovered and planted them in our vineyards. Vines were already grown here 2000 years ago; in fact, near to the abbey (built in the year 1000), a Roman archaeological site has been unearthed with dozens of grape seeds dating back to the first century B.C.”.
2011, an extreme vintage
“2011 was an unusual vintage,” continued Roberto Stucchi Prinetti, “extreme, very hot and very dry. The Sangiovese harvest, for example, started on a record early date, the 28th August. If I think that, in the 1980s when I started working at the winery, the harvest was done in the first week of October…The 2011 was an abundant vintage, but also with very high quality.” The unusual climate and the clay and calcareous soils, for 20 years under organic management, give the Montebello power, style and elegance.
Each grape variety is picked and vinified separately in 5-hectolitre barrels with native yeasts and manual punching down, where it remains for a year. Subsequently all the wines are blended and remain for a further year in oak barrels. Only 3,600 bottles are produced, the complex balance that its nine wines, from the same number of varieties, manage to achieve is striking on the nose and the palate. The 2012 will not be released, whereas the 2013 is already being considered. Read the tasting notes
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