Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Ateo 2000
Ciacci Piccolomini is one of the most sought-after producers in all of Italy. This ancient estate has 35 hectares of superior holdings in the prized Castelnuovo dell’Abate zone, including the ‘Pianrosso’ vineyard (meaning ‘red field,’ a reference to the iron rich soils) and the ‘Fonte’ vineyard, which produces grapes for the Rosso di Montalcino.
Plantings of Syrah, Cabernet, and Merlot are to the south, where the Orcia river provides a milder microclimate. The non-traditional wines are as exciting as the Brunello and Rosso: ‘Ateo,’ which means ‘atheist,’ is a statement against the restrictive laws that govern winemaking in Italy; the wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 100% Syrah ‘Fabius’ is one of the greatest expressions of that variety in Italy and Parker once called it “the finest Italian Syrah I have tasted.” The estate is a member of the EU ‘Lotta Integrata’ movement, which promotes reduced use of chemicals and organic viticulture; at Ciacci, fertilization is organic, and pruning and harvest are done by hand.
Legendary in Italy for its Renaissance art and striking landscape, Tuscany is also home to many of the country’s best red wines. Sangiovese reigns supreme here, as either the single varietal, or a dominant player, in almost all of Tuscany’s best.
A remarkable Chianti, named for its region of origin, will have a bright acidity, supple tannins and plenty of cherry fruit character. From the hills and valleys surrounding the medieval village of Montalcino, come the distinguished and age-worthy wines based on Brunello (Sangiovese). Earning global acclaim since the 1970s, the Tuscan Blends are composed solely of international grape varieties or a mix of international and Sangiovese. The wine called Vine Nobile di Montepulciano, composed of Prognolo Gentile (Sangiovese) and is recognized both for finesse and power.