Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1997
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
One of the most highly regarded wineries in all of Tuscany, Tenuta Il Poggione makes incredibly powerful wines for collectors and everyday drinkers alike. Located in Sant' Angelo in Colle in the commune of Montalcino, Tenuta Il Poggione was established at the end of the 19th century by Lavinio Franceschi and is still owned today by the 5th generation of its founder, siblings Leopoldo and Livia Franceschi.
One of the original three producers of Brunello di Montalcino, Il Poggione and has helped to establish the standards of excellence for Montalcino. The estate covers a surface area of 1,500 acres, of which 350 acres are planted to vine, 175 acres with olive groves and the rest are sowable land and woodland used for grazing and raising cattle and pigs to promote biodiversity and a natural approach to farming. Many of the vines are grown at more than 1,315 feet above sea level and Il Poggione owns one of the oldest vineyards in Montalcino, Vigna Paganelli, planted in 1964. The estate is also blessed by its proximity to the Tyrrhenian Sea (about 30 minutes distance by car) to the west and the Orcia River Valley and Mt. Amiata in the south.
Led by father-son winemaking team, Fabrizio and Alessandro Bindocci, Il Poggione's guiding principle is to pay great care to the vines, because the secret to producing great red wines lies in the high-quality vineyard work. Harvest is conducted entirely by hand and the wine is made in the traditional method, though modern, state-of-the-art equipment is used. Total control of the vinification process is guaranteed, thanks to the new cellar built in 2004 and the introduction of extremely advanced technology, but as tradition is important, the company keeps the large Allier French oak barrels used for aging its wines five meters below ground. The winery is also committed to sustainable viticulture and 100% estate-grown, hand-selected fruit.
Famous for its bold, layered and long-lived red, Brunello di Montalcino, the town of Montalcino is about 70 miles south of Florence, and has a warmer and drier climate than that of its neighbor, Chianti. The Sangiovese grape is king here, as it is in Chianti, but Montalcino has its own clone called Brunello.
The Brunello vineyards of Montalcino blanket the rolling hills surrounding the village and fan out at various elevations, creating the potential for Brunello wines expressing different styles. From the valleys, where deeper deposits of clay are found, come wines typically bolder, more concentrated and rich in opulent black fruit. The hillside vineyards produce wines more concentrated in red fruits and floral aromas; these sites reach up to over 1,600 feet and have shallow soils of rocks and shale.
Brunello di Montalcino by law must be aged a minimum of four years, including two years in barrel before realease and once released, typically needs more time in bottle for its drinking potential to be fully reached. The good news is that Montalcino makes a “baby brother” version. The wines called Rosso di Montalcino are often made from younger vines, aged for about a year before release, offer extraordinary values and are ready to drink young.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness 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. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.