“The 2017 Montevertine is rich, creamy and beautifully resonant on the palate. Over the last year it seems to have gained an extra bit of freshness, which is of course such a plus in this very hot, dry vintage. Montevertine is often austere, but the 2017 is unusually open today, not to mention incredibly delicious. There is plenty of tannin beneath all of that vintage 2017 fruit. Even so, opening a bottle young is not a crime by any stretch of the imagination. Black cherry, leather, sweet pipe tobacco, licorice and earthy notes develop with aeration, showing just a glimpse of what is in store for those who can wait. The 2017 is a striking wine in every sense. Floral notes reappear on the finish, adding further dimensions that will continue to unfold over the coming years. Drinking window: 2022-2042. 96 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.