Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino
Regular price $71.00
Winemaker: Riccardo and Jennifer Campinoti
Appellation: Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy
Grape Varieties: Sangiovese
This could have been tricky year for Montalcino. The spring was cool and wet, and growers had to be vigilant against disease. The summer was uneven, with some cool periods in August and no heat spikes. A good September helped conclude the ripening period, and the bunches remained healthy. Luckily, Riccardo’s 2013 ‘Normale’ overcame these challenges and shows delectable finesse and balance.
This primarily hails from four parcels of Montalcino. The majority of which is the Ragnaie Estate located at the highest point of the zone. The fruit from this plot is high toned and has a true elegance. It is supplemented by estate fruit from ‘Fornace’ and ‘Loreto’ in Castelnuovo dell' Abate as well as older vines from ‘Petroso’ near the village of Montalcino.
All farming is done organically (certified). The grapes are fermented in cement without the addition of yeast and left on their skins for nearly three weeks. From here the juice is gravity fed into 25hl Slavonian vats where they gently rest for 3 years. The wines are then racked and blended and then off to bottle for an addition year of aging.
According to James Suckling, this vintage has "so much more character, structure and depth when comparing to the 2012s. It is reminiscent of outstanding 2006's, which can also possess similarly clear, vivid fruit coupled with depth.”
Le Ragnaie is a breath of fresh air to what has been a relatively stale time frame in Montalcino. Riccardo and Jennifer Campinoti purchased the property with a mix of old vines and younger plantings. The estate spreads accross 42 acres, 12 acres of which are in the zone where the cellars are based, Le Ragnaie itself. These vines are the highest of any in Montalcino, some reaching above the DOCG mandated 1,960 feet 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.) Complementing 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.