While 2014 was not considered a great vintage in Tuscany, Mastrojanni produced one of the best wines from this vintage. A big reason for this, they are owned by the same family who has one of the largest coffee companies in the world, Illy Cafe. Why is this important? Well at the core, most wine growers are farmers. The crop they have grown for a particular year is what they have to sell to earn a living. At Mastrojanni, they dropped over 33% of the fruit they deemed less than ideal. Plus, they did not make wine from their top two single-vineyards, Schiena d'Asino and Loreto in 2014. All the fruit from these two vineyards went into their "Normale" bottling so you are really getting all the best fruit they possibly had that year. With Loreto selling for $100 a bottle and Schiena d'Asino around $150 a bottle, today's featured wine is an outrageous deal!
The Mastrojanni estate is located in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, in the southeastern corner of Montalcino. It was established in 1975; since the purchase of the estate by the famous Illy Cafe family in 2008, quality has skyrocketed. One of the abutting properties, Podere le Ripi is owned by Francesco Illy and when he heard Mastrojanni was becoming available, he pushed the rest of the family to return to their farming roots. The Illy’s kept Managing Director Andrea Machetti at the estate which was essential as he knows this land better than anyone. In an era when Brunello has seen many changes in winemaking techniques, Machetti keeps with tradition.
Everything at Mastrojanni is done with minimal intervention as Machetti believes the Sangiovese grape needs to speak for itself. The vines here grow in soils rich in gravel, clay and limestone with the inactive Mount Amiata in the distance. They believe this large structure helps protect the vineyards from large storms and hail by drawing the storms close to it. Machetti is a firm believer in the practice of biodynamics in the vineyard. The wines here are bottled and grapes are harvested based on the lunar cycle choosing the optimal time. When the new gravity fed cellar was built, they used wood and terracotta with as little cement as possible and zero iron to limit static electricity and magnetic fields.
This is one of the best producers in one of the greatest wine-growing regions in the world. Something like this under $50.00 a bottle, in today’s world, is a tremendous value! Shipped in six-bottle cases, we highly recommend trying a bottle and if you enjoy it, purchase one or two six-bottle cases as they are drinking great now and should age nicely for another five plus years. This is in stock at all locations, we are not sure how long they will last.
91 Points - Wine Advocate
"Mastrojanni's 2014 Brunello di Montalcino (with 39,000 bottles made) opens to a dark garnet color with some amber-crimson hues at the edges. The wine presents a lovely velvety texture that is smooth and silky to the end. The folks at Mastrojanni were forced to make a huge sacrifice in this difficult vintage and they ended up dropping one-third of the fruit. They saved the very best to make Brunello in 2014. Because the cru selections were not produced, fruit from the Vigna Schiena d'Asino and the Vigna Loreto ended up here instead. The wine shows bright aromatic intensity with wild berry, moist earth and grilled herb, but the mouthfeel is compact and streamlined. I recommend a near or medium-term drinking window. Drink 2020 - 2030" - Monica Larner
91 Points - JamesSuckling.com
"Pretty floral and berry aromas with hints of licorice follow through to a medium body, fine, soft tannins and a succulent finish. Lovely wine now." - James Suckling
90 Points - Decanter Magazine
"Mastrojanni's 2014 is a blend of their two crus, Vigna Loreto and Vigna Schiena d'Asino, which are usually bottled separately. During fermentation, the temperatures were kept slightly lower than usual to ensure a clean aroma profile. This initially presents as an older wine, with an evolved garnet color and a dried floral, sous-bois bouquet. Yet on the palate there's an irony firmness and plenty of sandy tannins in the overall lighter frame of the vintage. Some bitterness pokes through but doesn't detract."
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