Today’s Story: Vecchie Terre di Montefili
Vecchie Terre di Montefili was established in the Chianti Classico area of Tuscany by the Acuti family in 1975, right in the midst of rising popularity of “Super Tuscan” wines. The family planted their Sangiovese vineyards when they established Montefili, later giving in to the rise of Tuscan wines containing Cabernet Sauvignon by adding the variety in 1981. Dedicated to the craft of sustainable winemaking, Montefili helped create Italy’s first organic winemaking district in 2000 which is overseen by the Panzano in Chianti Winemakers Association. Though the winery shifted hands in late 2015 to American investors Nicola Marzovilla, Frank Bynum, and Tom Peck Jr., the trio is dedicated to maintaining the traditions of the Acuti family and their wines.
Vecchie Terre di Montefili consists of 31 acres of vineyards situated at just over 1,500 feet elevation. While the majority of these vineyards are planted to Sangiovese, there are smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon for the Bruno di Rocca bottling. Adhering to their place in Panzano’s organic district, Montefili practices organic and sustainable viticulture with minimal intervention to the natural flora and fauna of the land, allowing them to increase an already diverse biological ecosystem. Winemaker Serena Gusmeri views herself as more of an observer and guide to the fruit and wines, avoiding a heavy hand throughout the winemaking process with use of spontaneous fermentations and long aging in barrel. Her goal is simply to create wines that reflect the terroir and sense of place in her corner of Tuscany.
Today’s Wine: 2015 Bruno di Rocca
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese; 14.5% ABV
The 2015 Bruno di Rocca is opaque deep ruby in color. I decanted this for 3 hours or so, but I sense it will only blossom further and I’m saving some to revisit on day 2. Dense and powerful, this does start to open up and showcase a nose of blackberry, blackcurrant, plum, licorice, leather, wet slate, charred herbs, vanilla, chocolate, and oak. The palate benefited from air time as well, offering notes of blackberry, blueberry, black cherry, tobacco, damp rocky earth, coffee grounds, nutmeg, savory green herbs, mild oak, and iron. This youthful Tuscan red is full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, grippy high tannins, and a long finish. I think if one gives this another 5 years of cellaring they will be handsomely rewarded.
Price: $50 (typically $100+). The $100 or higher price tag is certainly a large stretch on value, and I’d recommend you look elsewhere for now. However, if you can find a great deal like I did and pay $50 for this wine it’s certainly worth trying. Give it a lot of air now, or remain strong and let this rest.