Monteraponi and Montevertine celebrates with festive elegance
Every year, when the two wine estates Montevertine and Monteraponi in Radda in Chianti present their new vintages, it is a celebration. A Sangiovese celebration. For if there’s something they’re good at, Martino Manetti and Michele Braganti with their other halves Liviana Midollini and Alessandra Deiana, it is to make fantastic wines from the king of Tuscany’s grapes.
“We have bought three new hectares in Radda in Chianti which have a northern exposure. Climate change makes it necessary to change our production if we want to continue making wines that can be drunk in the future,” says Martino Manetti from the Montevertine winery. This despite the fact that Radda in Chianti, where both Monteraponi and Montvertine are located, is at high altitude compared to many other Chianti Classico villages.
The fact that the climate can cause problems is something they talk openly and clearly about when they present the 2017 vintage, which was one of the warmest in memory in Tuscany. Sun, sun and, you can guess, sun. It was more common for the temperature to be above the 40 degree mark that summer than below it. At Monteraponi it was the first time since the start of the winery that the harvest was completed as early as September 29.
“Fortunately, Radda in Chianti is at a higher altitude and there was rain right at the end of the season that saved everything. Had we harvested before the rain then we would have had major problems,” says Michele Braganti with an emphasis on major.
He says that he considers the Monteraponi’s Chianti Classico 2017 (barrel sample) to be “decoroso” that can be translated into “acceptable”.
“We do not expect to achieve the elegance that we have a cooler year,” he continues with sincerity.
Montevertine’s Martino Manetti agrees.
“The year started really bad with a late frost that destroyed eighty percent of the lower-lying vineyards and then came the heat. But it is never possible to force nature, the wine reflects the vintage, that’s just how it is,” he says.
But despite the heat, the wines show what skills they have both in the field and in the cellar. The entry level wines from the two wineries are extremely well made despite the difficult vintage.
Monteraponi Chianti Classico 2017 (barrel sample)
From young vines that are between nine and sixteen years old. It is made from 95 per cent sangiovese and 5 per cent canaiolo. Fermentation in concrete tank and ageing in large thousand-litre barrels for one year. No filtration and no fining before bottling. The wine has a nose of ripe cherries, thyme, liquorice, lavender, elegant but tangible tannins, well- preserved fruit and a long fine finish.
Montevertine Pian del Ciampolo 2017 IGT (barrel sample)
Martino Manetti jokes and says that Michele from Monteraponi has copied everything he has done, the production method is the same. “But I have added the press wine this year too,” he says.
The nose has a lot of flowers, lavender, violet, hints of tar, with tight tannins that give a slightly rustic impression (in a positive sense). The wine is at the same time juicy and light-coloured.
The 2016 is “Raddese”
“2016 was very good, more balanced than 2015 with lower sugar levels and we had a better fermentation. The wines show a more genuine expression of our terroir and reflect better what we want to do. The wines have a lot of salinity, they are juicy with fine tannins. These are wines that go well with food and that make you want to eat and drink more,” says Martino Manetti.
Chianti Classico Riserva ”Campitello” 2016 (barrel sample)
A wonderful wine made from 90 percent sangiovese and the rest is canaiolo and colorino. It has a nose of blue plums, salty liquorice, cedar, peppery notes and every time you put your nose in the glass you will find something new. In the mouth it is juicy with elegant long tannins, salty, cardamom, deep flavoursome notes, but at the same time it retains a lightness that is difficult to resist. Cherries and plums are there too. A wine that plays on elegance and not on strength. A wine to buy and bring home by the case!
Montevertine 2016 IGT (barrel sample)
“Here we replaced all oak barrels so the wine has been on new small barrels,” says Martino Manetti. This is evident in the wine that has intense aromas of new barrels, vanilla, cinnamon and sweet spices, on the palate the wine is fresher than what I expected with fine acidity and balance.
Then it’s time for the two big players. Baron d’Ugo 2015 and Le Pergole Torte 2016.
Baron d´Ugo 2015 Toscana IGT
The vines grow at 560 meters altitude, the highest vineyard they have, with a soil rich in alberese, the poor, lime-rich soil so typical of Tuscany. The wine is made from sangiovese and a small portion of canaiolo and colorino and has been aged for three years on large thousand-litre barrels. The wine is tight, quite shy at first but opens up more and more every time you bring the glass to your mouth. Tight tannins, typical of a sangiovese of this caliber, wrapped in much salinity, the fruit is there but stays in the background. Beautifully vibrant, nervous acidity mixed with elegant herbal tone. A wine worth waiting for.
Pergole Torte 2016 IGT (barrel sample)
It is always a pleasure to see the new label of Pergole Torte with the easily recognizable women’s faces. This wine, made from hundred percent sangiovese, is a real classic that brings a smile to many wine lovers’ faces around the world. The wine is juicy with finely preserved ripe fruit, wild raspberries and dark cherries, soft, rounded, silky tannins, hints of cocoa and coffee beans, ripe plums and violets, long finish. Very good!
More about the two producers:
Åsa Johansson is BKWine’s person in Italy. She lives in Florence since the early ’00s. Asa writes regularly on wine and food in Swedish and Italian publications as well as online.
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