“Le Ragnaie's 2016 Rosso di Montalcino is striking. Deep and yet wonderfully translucent, the 2016 captures the purest essence of Sangiovese. Sweet red cherry, mint, rose petal and sweet spice give the 2016 a striking upper register of aromatic brilliance to play off its mid-weight personality. This is such a pretty and expressive wine. It's all class here.” Antoni Galloni, 92 points, 2019
“Riccardo Campinoti is a young winemaker whose only been making wine since 2002, but he’s already made his mark. His signature is delicate, high-altitude Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino, which is all about “going back to the basics of sangiovese.” To this end, he is like a modern Burgundy or pinot noir maker: his mantra is less extraction during the fermentation.” Huon Hooke, 2019
Some of the world’s finest wines might not be at the forefront of your mind at the moment, but if it is, you would be aware of the incredible releases and arrivals of the 2015 Brunello di Montalcino wines and their 2016 Rosso di Montalcino counterparts. Montalcino is one of the most revered places for red wines on the planet, we put it in the top echelon along with Barolo, Burgundy and Bordeaux for red wines, perhaps matched by Mosel and Champagne on the white and sparkling side. These command attention and are unique, individual wines of quality that are unique to their area... they cannot be replicated.
2015 has been regarded as one of the great vintages of all time for Brunello… “a vintage made by god.” We’ve spent the last few weeks compiling and organizing a list for clients with some of our favourite producers that are now available in Australia. The list is available here if you'd like to peruse and source some bottles.
For this weeks offer, we are introducing the slightly younger and more accessible 2016 Rosso di Montalcino. 2016 is being rated by some critics as just as impressive as 2015, but in a more classic mold. This means that where 2015 gives power, glossiness, richness and class, 2016 shows more restraint, elegance, finesse and nuance. The wines of 2016 are very fine and this wine, from the young Riccardo Campinoti of Le Ragnaie has been chosen because it expresses this. Le Ragnaie is a small winery and agriturismo with three vineyards across different areas and altitudes of Montalcino. Riccardo farms organically and intends to make a pure expression of Sangiovese. The wines are medium weight (not too full bodied), with limited and well balanced oak and a silk like texture. Riccardo and his wife Jennifer own and farm the 28 hectares and have quickly taken the estate to world leading heights, whilst managing incredible accommodation at the farmhouse and winery.
La Ragnaie own the highest vineyards on the hill of Montalcino, and the label depicts the traditional bird net of bird catchers that would wait at these high points of the mountain. The nets resemble a spiders web and this lends itself to the name of the winery (Ragna in Italian is spider).
This is serious for a Rosso di Montalcino, from a single vineyard with esteemed neighbours Mastrojianni and Poggio di Sotto on either side. The wine is fermented in concrete tanks and left of skins for 30 days, providing a ripe and integrated tannin to the wine. The juice is then transferred by gravity to large, old, Slovenian oak botti where it rests for 24 months. The result is a lovely, long and silky wine with black and red cherries, mint, dry flowers, dry herbs and spice. It is an incredibly satisfying and intellectual wine. The wine is drinking well now and will cellar very well until at least 2025.
Drink this with any dish incorporating dry Italian herbs, whether it be delicate or robust. It can be simple pastas or rich meats; this is a versatile drop. The wine dials in at $55.00 per bottle. The Brunello’s are between $90 and $200 and if you wish to discuss any of these please reach out.
Tom and Dan.