Monteverro Chardonnay 2010
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You could blame Georg Weber's change of life on a Bordeaux Premier Grand Cru Classe, and on an evening he spent in Lausanne with a friend. That was when the young university student first tasted a glass of truly great claret, and when his life took on a new direction. The memory and thrill of that fantastic wine set him on a new path that would, a few years later, lead him to Monteverro, near Capalbio in Tuscany.
Monteverro is a lovely estate located between Capalbio and the sea, in an area that until recently had never had much success producing wines. In 2003, before buying this 50-hectare farm there, Georg Weber wanted to make sure it would be able to produce the kind of wine he remembered from those memorable tastes of the Medoc. He ran tests on Monteverro's soil and growing conditions, and was satisfied with the results the lovely hills he'd fallen for could give him.
In honor of those memories, he planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, as well as some Syrah and Grenache. Chardonnay and Vermentino are the white grapes. By 2008 the grapes began to bear the kind of fruit Weber was interested in. In 2011 Monteverro's first five wines were released on the market.
One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Tuscan wine ranges 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 Tuscan 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, an exceptionally bold Tuscan wine, 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 red 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.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.