Showing 73–83 of 83 results

  • Il Paradiso di Manfredi Rosso di Montalcino 2020


    Review to follow

    The history of Il Paradiso di Manfredi starts back in 1914 with the birth of Manfredi Martini in Montalcino. Fast-forward to the 1950s and he was working for the only producer in Montalcino in those days, the iconic Biondi-Santi. He and his wife, Fortunata, then purchased an estate in 1958. Apparently, the name Il Paradiso stemmed from a priest who lived with the Martinis in the early 1900s deeming the area paradise. Thus, the estate of Il Paradiso di Manfredi was born. However, the sobriquet wasn’t totally appropriate as there was a catastrophic winter in the sixties which was so bad that it destroyed the estate’s olive trees! Luckily for wine lovers, this led directly to Manfredi replacing these trees with vines instead. In 1967, he was amongst a group who founded the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino association and, at that point, there were only twelve producers – today there are around 200! Following his death in 1982, Florio Guerrini, his son-in-law, took over with the help of his wife, Rosella.

    The compact estate of three hectares is nestled on the side of the hill on which the town of Montalcino is perched. Of these, two and a half hectares are planted to vine – two of which produce Brunello di Montalcino from Sangiovese Grosso (called Brunello here). Sangiovese is also the grape of Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano amongst others. From these two and a half hectares, they produce between 6,000 and 8,000 bottles of Brunello plus between 1,800 and 3,000 bottles of Rosso di Montalcino per year. In addition, 1,200 bottles of Riserva are made in years deemed special by the family. The artisanal nature of production here can be compared to that of Banfi who produce more than 50,000 cases of Brunello per year!

    The vineyards are placed on terraces, parallel along the hill of Montalcino, with varying altitudes (approximately 300 metres above sea level) and are exposed on the north side. This is a land rich in fossils and shells and they provide excellent nourishment to the vines’ roots. These north-facing vineyards produce lithe, refined wines with redcurrant and sour red-cherry aromas and flavours compared to those from the southern sectors which tend towards riper, red-cherry and even dark plum aromas and flavours along with a much richer mouthfeel. These stark differences can sometimes lead to the two types feeling like different wines altogether as Sangiovese is so good at transmitting its terroir. There are seven different vineyard parcels and a mixture of all these aids the wine’s complexity.

    Following such a long history as regards Brunello, it will come as no surprise that the estate has made wine using traditional methods since its inception. Manfredi never used herbicides and fertilisers and this approach has been followed by the present incumbents. Thus, this estate long preceded the trend of biodynamic viticulture but they are now classified as such!

    As previously mentioned, things stay along traditional lines in the winery (a 19th century construction). The grapes are fermented in cement-lined tanks with wild yeasts. The wine is then transferred by gravity into large Slavonian oak barrels. The Brunellos remain in these barrels for at least three years and sometimes longer – 36 to 40 months for the Brunello and 48 to 54 months for the Riserva. However, the Rosso only sees the barrels for approximately 14 months. The wine is bottled without ever having suffered the stress of being pumped. There is no fining, no filtration and no acidification. All of this allows the wine to speak clearly of its terroir.

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  • Le Chiuse Brunello di Montalcino 2014


    “Moderately saturated red. Scents of red cherry, plum and fresh apple are complicated by spice and underbrush. The firm palate is animated by a squeeze of fresh citrus that lift the red fruit and underbrush flavors. A hint of salinity offers a juicy note to the repeating, nicely persistent tobacco and red cherry flavors on the long suave finish. Another outstanding Brunello from this estate that has been on a real roll of late. Well done. Drink: 2020-2030. 92 points”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (03/19)

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  • Le Chiuse Rosso di Montalcino 2018


    “Very pretty bright red color. Intense violet, black cherry and licorice on the nose. Then similar flavors in the mouth, with a balsamic note lingering nicely on the youthfully chewy, persistent and strongly spicy (cloves, especially) finish. Interestingly, this enters herbal and develops more and more fruit as it sits in the glass. 70% Sangiovese grown around Le Chiuse’s winery and 30% Sangiovese from the Pullera plot near the Biondi-Santi winery. Aged 14 months of used 20-30hL Slavonian oak. Drinking window: 2020-2024. 91 points

    Part of Le Chiuse’s vineyards once belonged to Biondi-Santi, and were used for that estate’s world-famous Brunello Riserva. When Tancredi Biondi-Santi died, the property was divided between Franco and Fiorella Biondi-Santi. The latter was current Le Chiuse owner Simonetta Valiani’s mother. Simonetta wanted to make wine a long time ago and began doing so in 1992 aided by her husband Niccolò Magnelli. During the first years Franco Biondi-Santi graciously acted as a mentor, helping them choose massal selections from the Biondi-Santi Il Greppo estate. The estate’s first Rosso was the 1992, the first Brunello was the 1993 and the first Brunello Riserva the 1995. Simonetta Valiani’s son Lorenzo Magnelli now runs the estate. Though Magnelli studied enology for two years, he was needed back at the estate in 2006, in the meantime he managed also a stint of 3 months working at Rubicon in California. 2006 was the year the estate hired Valentino Ciarla, a well-known Italian winemaking consultant, who is still on board today. Le Chiuse is a very traditional estate, amongst the first to harvest every year (clearly, very much following Biondi-Santi’s example). Lorenzo Magnelli lives on the estate and pays extreme attention to harvesting at the optimal time; living at the winery enables him to intervene at precisely the right time. The estate owns eight hectares, of which seven hectares are situated all around the winery building, plus a small plot called Pullera across the road from the Biondi-Santi building (Tancredi used to make wine from that plot as well). The estate’s oldest vines are those of the not-so poetically named Vineyard number 2 (roughly 32 years old) from where Le Chiuse makes its Brunello Riserva today. Vineyard 1, replanted about 15 years ago, was the original one used by Tancredi Biondi-Santi to contribute to his Riserva. The Rosso di Montalcino is essentially a declassified Brunello, made from the estate’s youngest vines and biggest grape bunches. Le Chiuse practices certified organic farming.”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (04/20)

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  • Lisini Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011


    “I have not seen a Riserva from Lisini for a while, so this wine comes as a pleasant surprise. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva takes us back to one of the warmest vintages in recent memory. However, this wine holds nicely with plenty of lush primary fruit to keep it smelling and tasting younger than its years. Dark cherry and dried blackberry rise to the top. Soon to follow are layers of spice and sweet tobacco. The mouthfeel is thickly layered but velvety smooth all the while. Drinking window: 2020-2040. 94+ points”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (235)

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  • Lisini Brunello di Montalcino Ugolaia 2011


    Review to follow

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  • Montenidoli Canaiuolo Rosato 2021


    “The 2021 Rosato Canaiuolo is smoky, with wild herbal tones up front revealing musky peach and pear. This is built on mineral and citrus tension, with pliant textures that soothe over its salty-savory core. Zests of lime and inner florals linger, as the mouth is left watering for more through the medium-length finale. Drinking window: 2022-2023. 89 points”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (05/22)

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  • Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 2017


    “The 2017 Le Pergole Torte is a wine of pure and total sensuality. I imagine the 2017 is one of those wines that will always offer tremendous pleasure. Pliant and inviting, with soft, voluptuous curves, the 2017 is off the charts gorgeous. Layers of deep Sangiovese fruit gradually reveal themselves with air. The flavors are so intense but also so primary. I wouldn’t touch a bottle before age ten. Readers lucky enough to find the 2017 should not hesitate, as it is magnificent. I can’t imagine anyone who loves Le Pergole Torte not wanting a good supply of the 2017 in the cellar. The 2017 has come together beautifully over the last year. Drinking window: 2025-2047. 98 points

    These new releases from Montevertine are off the charts. The 2018 Pian del Ciampolo is a terrific start for readers who want to explore the personality and style of the year. It’s a gorgeous wine. Tasted a year later, Montevertine and Le Pergole Torte are dazzling. The wines are rich and expansive, but also retain their distinctive personalities. Montevertine is located in the hills outside Radda, a cool, late-ripening subzone in Chianti Classico where warm, dry conditions are less of an issue than they are elsewhere. I was deeply impressed by what I tasted.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/20)

    The first significant date in the history of this estate is 1967, when Martino’s father Sergio (a Milanese whose family had made money in steel) bought the Montevertine estate as a holiday home. At that time, estate was perhaps something of a misnomer, since Signor Manetti’s purchase basically consisted of a ramshackle farmhouse and sixty acres or so of neglected farmland. However, there was one other hidden asset in the form of Bruno Bini, who lived on the estate and who became, in those early days, the owner’s right hand man and cellarmaster. In 1968, about an acre with north/northeastern exposure was planted to Sangiovese. In 1971, the first vintage from this estate was shown at Vinitaly to much acclaim and the first vintage of Le Pergole Torte followed in 1977.

    In those distant days, Le Pergole Torte was not 100% Sangiovese – in fact, it did not become so until the 1990 vintage. However, Signor Manetti was a devoted protagonist of Sangiovese and its unique power to express the qualities of its native terroir. This was not, of course, the prevailing wisdom: in fact, regulations forbade the making of 100% Sangiovese wines. Instead, they had to be blended with white grape varieties such as Trebbiano. These strictures led directly to the development of the so-called Supertuscans but Le Pergole Torte is a Super-Sangiovese rather than a Supertuscan. The trajectory of this estate had always been towards making an ever better and purer Sangiovese and one which would best express the individual attributes of Radda, which, at 425 metres above sea level, is one of the highest altitude spots in the Chianti Classico appellation.

    Sergio’s philosophy of pure Sangiovese always put at him at odds with the regulatory authorities. In 1981, he stopped producing Chianti Classico and left the DOC. Even when the regulations changed in 1995 and the use of white grape varieties in Chianti was finally banned, he and his wines remained steadfastly outside the DOC. In the early days, Sergio was also helped by Giulio Gambelli, who became his consultant from 1971. Signor Gambelli was one of the main exponents of Sangiovese as a mono-varietal at a time when the rules required blending with white grape varieties. He was also a master taster rather than an oenologist, known in his lifetime as “il grande maestro di Sangiovese” or, more affectionately, as “Il Bicchierino” (Little Glass). Signor Gambelli passed away in January 2012, so the 2011 vintage was his last. Today, the total estate comprises roughly fifty acres, divided into nine parcels. There are three wines: Pian dell Ciampolo, Montevertine and Le Pergole Torte.

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  • Tenuta di Biserno 2018


    “The 2018 Biserno is a gorgeous, elegant wine that captures the essence of the house style today. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, espresso, licorice and incense are all laced together. The 2019 is deep and fleshy yet also retains mid-weight structure and terrific energy. lt’s one of the most elegant wines l have tasted here. Drinking window: 2023-2033. 96 points.

    Lodovico Antinori’s new releases are terrific. They show a move towards a slightly more understated style than in the past, as is common at many properties in Maremma. The wines are still quite opulent and generous, but without the heaviness that marked some previous releases. I find the wines compelling and delicious.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (07/22)

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  • Tenuta di Trinoro 2019


    “This is a stunning wine and one of the best in this report covering the icons of Tuscany. The 2019 Tenuta di Trinoro is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc. Fruit is sourced from the very best parcels, and the blending formula changes according to vintage and the style desired by vintner Andrea Franchetti. These vineyard parcels vary in altitude, ranging from 400 to 600 meters above sea level, and the soils are quite varied with pockets of clay, sand and rock. The Trinoro is profoundly deep and pure with a solid core of black fruit that is framed by an elegant contour of spice, tobacco, smoke and crushed stone. To the palate, the wine is long and the finish can be counted in minutes, but the entire experience is beautifully streamlined and velvety. This vintage saw an important freeze event on the 7th of May, and 9,000 fire candles were lit in the lower vineyard blocks to fight off frost damage. Drink: 2023-2048. 100 points

    “Tenuta di Trinoro is a vast mosaic of soil types,” says proprietor Andrea Franchetti, who lives in a rustic farmhouse overlooking the vines. The high-density vines are over 20 years old and their root systems are fully developed. The estate counts 23 hectares of vines between 400 and 620 meters in altitude. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are the heart of the estate, and there are smaller plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot as well. High-density planting, fruit selection in the vineyard, low yields, full phenolic ripeness and concentration give these wines a unique and unmistakable personality, Franchetti explains: “The wines are extreme in their perfumes, color and taste. They can be enjoyed in the near term but are also built for long aging.””

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (10/21)

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  • Tenuta di Trinoro Palazzi 2019


    “Because of frost and a cold spring, some of the vineyard parcels at this estate saw late harvest dates. But the Merlot was the first to come off the vines by the 14th of September. The Tenuta di Trinoro 2019 Palazzi is a pure expression of Merlot with incoming fruit from the Palazzi vineyard that is characterized by dense clay soils. The wine’s intensity is what stands out most, and that power is fueled by lovely nuances of black fruit, spice, sweet tobacco and baker’s chocolate. The alcohol content weighs in at 15.5%. Palazzi excels in terms of mouthfeel. The smooth richness and deep softness achieved here is only possible with this grape. Furthermore, it seems only possible in this spectacular, sun-drenched corner of undiscovered Tuscany known as Sarteano. Drink: 2022-2045. 96 points

    “Tenuta di Trinoro is a vast mosaic of soil types,” says proprietor Andrea Franchetti, who lives in a rustic farmhouse overlooking the vines. The high-density vines are over 20 years old and their root systems are fully developed. The estate counts 23 hectares of vines between 400 and 620 meters in altitude. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are the heart of the estate, and there are smaller plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot as well. High-density planting, fruit selection in the vineyard, low yields, full phenolic ripeness and concentration give these wines a unique and unmistakable personality, Franchetti explains: “The wines are extreme in their perfumes, color and taste. They can be enjoyed in the near term but are also built for long aging.””

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (10/21)

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  • Tenuta Tignanello Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2018


    “The 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva Marchese Antinori offers a beguiling mix of Sangiovese energy and Cabernet Sauvignon savoriness. Translucent and energetic, the 2018 has much to offer. I would prefer to see a bit more Sangiovese character, but the Marchese is designed to be a sort of mini-Tignanello and it leans towards the more savory end of the spectrum because of the presence of Cabernet Sauvignon. Drinking window: 2021-2028. 93 points

    CEO Renzo Cotarella and his team continue to move the Antinori wines in the direction of elegance over power. Recent vintages have provided the ideal conditions to do that. Tignanello and Solaia, the family flagships, naturally get most of the attention, but I am increasingly impressed with the entry-level wines, all of which are now made from estate fruit, which is remarkable at these volumes.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/21)

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