Poggio San Polo Brunello di Montalcino 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In an effort to employ environmentally sound and sustainable agriculture, natural compost and nitrogen-rich plants have replaced the chemical treatments in the San Polo vineyards. Picturesque olive groves and a magnificent farmhouse enrich the property with genuine Tuscan charm, while the modern, underground winery and cellar provide the best environment and technology for state-of-the-art winemaking. San Polo is a beautiful estate located in the southeastern part of Montalcino at 1,300 feet above sea level overlooking the Sant’Antimo Valley and Mount Amiata. It comprises 52 acres, 40 of which are dedicated to vines. Twenty acres are currently producing Brunello di Montalcino, while the rest are dedicated to Rosso di Montalcino and IGT wines. The vineyards at San Polo were planted between 1990 and 2000 and the first wines were produced in 1997. All vineyards have been planted at high density and are sustainably farmed. Winemaking at San Polo takes a comprehensive approach of quality and sustainability. In place of chemical fertilizers, nitrogen rich cover crops are used to improve the soil. Additionally, careful bud selection and canopy management aim to reduce the incidence of molds and mildews in the vineyards. The wine cellar follows the principles of integration with the natural landscape by harnessing renewable resources to power the winery. Winemaker, Luca d'Attoma, meticulously manages the estate grown fruit and strives to keep energy consumption to a minimum during the winemaking process. The ultimate goal at San Polo is to maximize the expression of the unique hilltop terrior of Montalcino, while preserving it for future generations.
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.
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.