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Camigliano Rosso di Montalcino 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Camigliano in the past was certainly inhabited by the Etruscans who followed the course of the Ombrone River from the coastal Maremma area. It then became quite an important hamlet in the late medieval period, an outpost for Montalcino, joining in the fight to defend republican freedom in the middle of the 16th century.
The current manor house was built inside the entry gate (called “Borgone”) of the old “castle” making the most of the ancient walls that surrounded the homestead. The symbol of Camigliano: the camel, found on a seal dating to the 13th century, can perhaps be connected to the influence of the papacy in the area, and there is speculation of connection to the movements of the Crusades that reached the Holy Land.
The winery, which was purchased by Walter Ghezzi in 1957, a courageous and enterprising businessman from Milan with a passion for Tuscany, has undergone an intense and radical improvement in recent years with arrival of son Gualtiero: the new vineyards have been brought to their full potential (today 530ha of which 93 are cultivated with vines) at an altitude of 300-350masl, the new underground cellar was built, and the vinification practices and unconditional care for the territory, in which he has invested energy and enthusiasm, have been renewed.
The vineyards, organic, have been chosen through a careful analysis of the terrain and clonal selection by agronomic experts coming from different Italian universities.
One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.
Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.
Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.
The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Italy's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino
Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and on the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed success growing in California and Washington.
In the Glass
Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.
Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.
Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.