Deep garnet-ruby color; black plum, cherry, roasted tomato, black tea, oak on the nose and palate.
Dry; fine, pronounced tannins—decanting smoothed things out nicely. Good, but not strident, acidity. Medium body. Rich and tasty, especially after decanting. Grapes come from sangiovese vineyards located in the highest elevation of the estate with south/west exposure. Fermented on the skins for 15-20 days at a controlled temperature. Malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks specially designed for delicate extraction of tannins and color. Wine spent one year in 79-gallon oak barrels. Bottled and stored at a controlled temperature to continue its refinement. 14% ABV
Podere Montale was founded in 2014 and this is their first harvest and vintage. The grapes come from the estate La Casetta vineyard at about 1,500 feet elevation with south and west orientation. The soils are influenced by Mount Amiata, an old volcano. Warm days are followed by cool nights at this mountain location. Located in the Tuscan hills, the Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG was created in 2011 and is one of the lesser known, but not uninteresting DOCGs in Tuscany.
The winery is the vision of Silvio Mendini. The website notes Silvio’s aim has been to have the enterprise reflect the land and the people who work with him. They practice conservative farming principles to keep their 49-acre vineyard in balance with the 124 acres of woodlands that surround it. The website notes [Google translation]: “The reason is to protect the typical biodiversity treasure of natural balance. This setting allows us to have minimum impact agronomic practices.” A further quote: “We are committed to giving back to nature what it gives us with each harvest.”
Silvio asserts Montecucco is the “purebred horse” of the Tuscan reds. He harvests the sangiovese grapes for this effort from the highest vineyards on his property. The volcanic soil contributes to minerality, which is abetted by a relatively short time (for a sangiovese effort) in barrel. “Vendemmia” in the label means “harvest” in Italian.
Podere Montale Montecucco Sangiovese Vendemmia DOCG 2017 is rich, elegant presentation of sangiovese with depth and length. Very nice balance, especially after decanting, which softens the tannins and integrates the diverse components. Pure sangiovese play. Impressive, particularly at this price point. Pair with lamb; beef—T-bone steak, ribeye; veal; wild game; braised meats in general; cured meats and charcuterie board; poultry. Cheese—aged pecorino (classic pairing), aged asiago, blue cheeses, fontina, mozzarella, parmesan. $27