Americans certainly have a love affair with Italian wine and more specifically Tuscan wines. This incredibly picturesque region produces incredible wines, predominantly red. From young, bright affordable table wines to very collectable and outrageously expensive offerings from the Bolgheri coast and Montalcino, Tuscany offers the best of both worlds. Today, we are pleased to offer from "Under the Tuscan Sun" both a classic old-world Sangiovese based Rosso di Montalcino and a delicious red made with a non-native varietal - Cabernet Sauvignon.
Like Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino is required to be made from 100 percent Sangiovese. Brunello must be aged for at least four years after the vintage, either in barrel or the bottle, before it can be released. With Rosso di Montalcino, only one year of ageing is needed. Most producers use their Rosso as a way of improving their much more expensive Brunello by making this out of the younger vines or from the vines on less prestigious parts of their vineyards. So, with Rosso di Montalcino, you are getting great terroir-driven wines at a fraction of the cost of a Brunello.
Mastrojanni, which was established in 1975, has quickly become one of the top producers of Brunello di Montalcino since the sale of the estate to the Illy family. Their 2010 Brunello di Montalcino scored 98 points by James Suckling and other vintages since then received similar accolades.
“Mastrojanni is an estate that is living a true moment of glory. The new winery has been up and running for a number of years, the best vineyard sites are in their prime production years. The Illy family (of the famed coffee house) bought the property in 2008 and made a series of important investments. Managing Director Andrea Machetti stayed on during the many years of transition and his role has been crucial to the continuity and the improvements made at Mastrojanni since the Illy ownership commenced." (Monica Larner, Wine Advocate, Mar 2016)
Don’t sleep on their San Pio either! This is a favorite at my house and a wine I purchase each vintage. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon based red grown right in Montalcino. I was told that the family wanted to uproot the Cabernet and plant Sangiovese to use in their Brunello, but this wine has such a cult following they decided to keep the Cabernet in the ground. The grape is best known for its examples in the Medoc region of Bordeaux and closer to home in California, but it also does extremely well in the clay and stony soils in central Italy. I highly recommend this wine to people who enjoy the ripe fruit of the "New World" but in the summer want something with a bit less heavy fruit and oak. Only about 1,000 twelve-bottle cases are produced yearly and at about $25.00 a bottle, it is one to buy now. This is a wine both fans of Tuscan reds or Napa Cabernet Sauvignons will enjoy.
Both are shipped in six packs which is a perfect way to purchase them. They are both excellent wines with food, the Rosso di Montalcino has brilliant acidity and will pair well with meats but better with pasta with rich sauces or chicken dishes. The San Pio I love with grilled beef or ribs off the smoker. Stop by or order online to reserve!
91 Points - Vinous
The 2018 Rosso di Montalcino lifts up with a dusty and floral display, gaining richness in the glass as it reveals bright strawberries with hints of tangerine, shaved cedar, leather strap and white smoke. It’s soft and pure, casting red berries and mineral tones across a feminine frame, with vibrant acids which add a juicy feel to the expression. Cooling herbal tones linger over a gentle tug of tannin, yet the 2018 is already so delicious and remarkably pretty. Drinking window: 2020 - 2025.
91 Points - JamesSuckling.com
A juicy, fruity red with cherry, strawberry and burnt orange character. Medium body, berry and smoky flavors and a lightly tannic backbone.
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