I met Angela Biagiotti from Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona at the Italian restaurant Mancini in Stockholm just a few hundred yards from the spot where Prime Minister Olof Palme drew his last breath in February 1986. Angela Biagiotti apologised for the length of the firm’s name but that is what you get when Italian noble families marry, she explained.
From a 1700-century castle in Castelnuovo d’Abate in Montalcino the siblings Lucia and Paolo Bianchini and their families make wine, grow olives and do beekeeping. When the last Countess Elda Ciacci Piccolomini died without heirs in 1984 she let his foreman, Giuseppe Biancini, inherit the property.
In this wine region they are a medium-sized wine producer with over 30 hectares planted almost exclusively with Brunello (Sangiovese). The winery is most famous for the single vineyard Pianrosso considered to be the winery’s best wine. Even in top vintages they make a selection of grapes that are not quite up to par that is sold as Riserva Santa Caterina d’Oro.
The company uses organic wine production methods but they prefer not to be certified. All the wines come from their own vineyards and grapes. Fermentation takes place in lined cement tanks and stainless steel. Additional ageing is done, depending on the wine, between 12-48 months in mostly large botti of Slavonian oak, but they also uses a small number of barriques. Annual production is between 200,000 and 250,000 bottles.
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona 2011
60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet, 20% Merlot. Light red colour, young, red fruits, little tangy aroma with hints of cherries, the taste is young, medium-bodied, red fruits and fresh, with spice and gentle tannins. ~10 euro, 81 p.
Rosso di Montalcino 2012
100% sangiovese. Light red colour, young, red fruits aroma, with hints of oak and cherry; flavour is young, medium-bodied and with red fruits with hints of cherry and morello cherries and with some fruity acidity. 81 p.
Fabius Sant Antimo Rosso 2012
100% Syrah. Spelled the label Roman style: Fabivs. Red colour, large perfumed nose, dark fruity aroma with hints of violets and strawberry jam; taste is quite full-bodied, young and fresh, dark fruity with hints of oak, strawberry and violet pastilles, good length. To be launched in spring 2015, 85 p.
Brunello di Montalcino Annata 2009
100% sangiovese. Light brownish red colour, medium dark-fruity and floral fragrance with maturity tones, with hints of black currant and cherry flavour is quite full-bodied, dark fruits, spicy and tight, with hints of black currant, cherry, and with the quite hard tannins, length. ~30 euro, 87 p.
Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso 2008
100% sangiovese. Orange-red colour, medium-bodied nose, dark fruits, floral and complex aromas, with hints of cherry and slightly burnt tones; the taste is fairly full-bodied, dark-fruits, spicy and tight, with hints of cherry, plum and with quite hard tannins, good length. ~40 euro, 88 p.
To give some perspective on the 2008 Vigna di Pianrosso we also tasted directly from the domain’s cellar the 2006, 2004 and 2001. It is always interesting with verticals. Sometimes vintages vary so much that it is hard to believe that they come from the same vineyard. But not in this case. The were astoundingly consistent; basically the same aromas and flavour palette, with the exception that the 2004 and 2001 feel slightly more mature. To age any of these wines in a good cellar another 10-20 years would not be any problem whatsoever!
To the wines chef Domenico at Mancini had composed a menu in Tuscan spirit with tagliatelle with salsiccia ragù and a barbeque platter with rack of lamb with broccoli and potato terrine, homemade salsiccia with sautéed savoy cabbage, and deer fillet with truffle cream and porcini mushrooms, and sliced white alba truffles. Really delicious and a good match.
The tasting and lunch was organised by Tryffelsvinet, Piccolomini’s Swedish importer.
Roland Eriksson writes on BKWine Magazine on wine tastings with wine merchants and importers in Sweden. Roland is the author of a book on cognac (A Handbook: Cognac, 2007, published in Swedish) and one on rum as well as one on tea.
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