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Uccelliera, Tuscany

One of the top producers of Brunello di Montalcino

The Uccelliera property dates back to the Middle Ages but its current owner, Andrea Cortonesi, purchased this tiny but beautiful 6 hectare estate in 1987 and has quietly established Uccelliera as one of the top producers of Brunello di Montalcino.

A farmer to his fingertips, Andrea, though not certified, cultivates the land organically as he believes this allows his magical vineyards to express themselves fully.

The estate comprises vineyards with various exposures and soils centred in Castelnuovo del Abate on the south-east side of Montalcino.

The wines are fermented in steel then aged in a mixture of large oak cask and smaller barriques (36 months for the Brunello) followed by several months finishing in bottle.

These are distinctive, honest wines with real personality from an estate that, in the last 5-10 years, has become one of the region's very best. 96+ point scores from Wine Spectator mean that demand for the wines always outstrips supply but it is well worth trying to track a case down.