Azienda Agricola Montevertine Pian del Ciampolo 2008, Toscana

In general I am not so overwhelmingly motivated to write about those big and glamorous names in the wine business. There is definitely enough coverage about that icon stuff! Today I’d like to make an exception. Why? Well, probably due to my recent experience with today’s wine. This one was able to persuade me with its lightness, finesse and clarity! Anyway, I guess the actual wine isn’t that legendary or super famous at all, but the winery surely is: Montevertine! What can I write about this producer? Situated in the Chianti hills, but not producing actual Chianti wines, Montevertine concentrates on the production of Sangiovese based wines. Sergio Manetti, a former manager in the steel business, started in his wine production 1971 as a hobby and quickly slipped into professionalism. His first vintages surprised and shuttered the wine world with his exceptional and modern-traditional wines. Why modern-traditional? In short: he overcome various traditional methods, e.g. adding white varietals to Chianti wines and other regulations, without sacrificing the identity of the Sangiovese grape by adding French varietals or over ambitioned aging in small oak barrels. By skipping the Gallo-Nero syndicate he started to produce his wines as table wines (vino da tavola). By taking this step he was one (or the) initiators of this new and very popular “movement”. Since then, names like La Pergole Torte became highly renowned terms of the Tuscan viticulture business. Today the winery operates six single vineyards with the combined size of approx. 18 ha. I really would like to indulge you with something like la Pergole Torte, but today it is time for Montevertine’s most basic wine: the Pian del Ciampolo. Pian del Ciampollo is a blend of the local varietals: Sangiovese (90%), Canaiolo and Colorino. It is produced from young vines which were planted in 2003 in the west-northwest facing Pian del Ciampolo vineyard. The alcoholic fermentation took approx. 25 days in cement vats. Malolactic fermentation was cement’y as well and final aging of 12 months took place in used Slavonian oak. Let’s check out this astounding fresh fellow:

The colour of the Pian del Ciampolo was semi-dark red, looked a bit bloody, refreshingly transparent, had no discolourations or obvious particle-impact. The overall composition shined with its radiant and fresh qualities.

Right from the start the nose showed precise and lovable Sangiovese fragrances. The fruit of tart dark cherries and cranberries seemed astoundingly clear, fresh, full of finesse, but maybe not that highly elegant. One or two “Tuscan-Framer-Breaking-Wind-Situations” hid behind the close to seductiveness fruit. Don’t be afraid! This slight stinker seemed absolutely adequate and definitely not dominating. Besides all that I sensed additional fragrances of a few dark olives, mild smoke (perhaps plus some smoked ham) and local spices. I have to confess, the nose wasn’t shockingly complex or dense. However, it understood to convince me with its very straight and “flawless” style.

Clarity, lightness, unobtrusiveness, leanness, freshness and finesse might be the correct attributes to describe the taste of the Pian del Ciampolo. The flavour pattern was more or less congruent. Dark cherries, lively cranberries, spice and hints of restrain earthy components. The very well balanced acid and a close to marvelousness dinking condition did the rest. As already mentioned the Pian wasn’t an astoundingly complex or super complicated wine with infinite depth. The composition of introverted or serene fruit, tartness, unstoppable flow, clarity and lightness made this wine to a memorable, pronounced and decent - oh what the hell - a very decent ***** working day wine experience with class. Far more Chianti than most Chiantis. I should say so (I guess)! You guys out there know the wine? What r u thinking?

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