San Polino, Brunello Di Montalcino, DOCG, Tuscany, Italy, 2016
There is a small 'nirvana' northwest of Montalcino, where Luigi Fabbro and Katia Nuassbaum founded San Polino nearly 30 years ago.
Using Luigi's scientific experience of mapping the Amazon rainforest they decided to try their hands at "creating wines as complete reflections of the biodiversity of their terroir" Katia explains. This tiny estate of only 4 hectares now produces luscious and balanced wines farmed bio-dynamically by this energetic couple who, it is clear, pour all their heart and energies into these sublime wines. Praised by critics and peers they have been described as having "an incredible clarity and pureness of fruit that is unequalled in the region".
Vineyards are to the north-east of Montalcino at 300m altitude where a meandering stream runs through it attracting much wildlife. Worked by hand, organically and biodynamically, the canopy is well-managed to produce healthy, juicy, thick-skinned grapes.
Harvested early in October, there is a cold 3-day maceration, followed by a spontaneous fermentation on native yeasts in 35hl tronic oak barrels, 45 day maceration in total then the skins are pressed, followed by 1 month spontaneous malolactic fermentation. 20 days lees ageing. To finish the wine it spends 5 years ageing in large oak casks before bottling by hand in the winery.
Type: Slovakian and French 25hl - 38 hl
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 5
This is an elegant, well structured wine, from the nose of dark fruit, with plums, blackcurrent, tobacco, spices, with hints of black pepper, liquorice, then violet, and orange zest, the strong minerality of earth and flint, to the freshness of the mouth, the full yet unbelievably smooth tannins and long, long finish. Time has worked its magic and now eminently satisfying, totally and deliciously drinkeable.
Roasted or grilled vegatables, meat, mushrooms and legumes, full-bodied cheeses.
Jancis Robinson 18+ Points
Lustrous mid ruby. Brooding cherry fruit with top notes of spice, minerals and a hint of soy sauce. Gorgeous mouth-filling fruit with fantastic firm, chewy tannins. Succulent, perfumed raspberry notes on a gripping, tactile finish. Fantastic balance. 18+ Points, WS, March 2021.
6 x 75cl