Brunello di Montalcino


100% Sangiovese Grosso. The Padovani sisters have around 4.2 contiguous, hilly hectares near Poggio San Polo in the SE part of the Montalcino zone. The farming is certified-biodynamic and the harvest by hand. Their Brunello comes from a mere hectare's worth of fruit from their prized Vigna del Bosco parcel. Surrounded entirely by the woods or bosco for which it was named, the site is 1.7 hectares of steep, south-facing vines with soils ranging from galestro (rocky, schistous clay) at the top to albarese (limestone-clay marl) further downslope, with many variations in between. The Padovanis planted the Vigna del Bosco in 1999-2000, farm it biodynamically (certified) and harvest it by hand in multiple passes.

Like their vineyard work, the cellar work at Fonterenza is generally traditional but more than anything mindful and meticulous. The Brunello is the only red not destemmed by hand; but it is destemmed, gently crushed and macerated from 20-30 days usually but only 10 days in the cool, rainy 2014 vintage. Fermentation is fully spontaneous with native yeasts only in 17.5-hectoliter and 37-hectoliter Slavonian oak vats; the nature of the vintage determines whether the cap is punched down or kept submerged. The wine ages in wood of various origins and sizes for several years, always well beyond the minimum of two years required by the DOCG. The 2014 spent 3.5 years in 23-hectoliter and 20 hecto-liter botti before being bottled without filtration in September 2018. It is a delicate, pretty style of Brunello from a difficult vintage in which most growers chose not to or were unable to bottle one at all; it was released from the Fonterenza cellar before the 2013. 2014 production was about 5300 bottles.   

90 points
"Dusty cherry, cedar, pretty florals, crushed stone and hints of undergrowth are all present in the understated yet soulful 2014 Brunello di Montalcino. The 2014 is seemingly weightless, as pretty notes of floral-laced strawberry give way to saline-minerality. The finish is long, with hints of fine tannin radiating beneath an air of red berry fruits and inner florals, and a slight twang of residual acidity. A victim of the vintage, most likely; yet this is a beautiful bottle of wine that I’m eager to pour another glass from. Made from one hectare of the family’s original vines."
Eric Guido,
April 2020

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