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1988 is considered to be a very fine vintage in Montalcino.
Back in 1972 Alberto Carli wanted to make a great Brunello, so he hired the famous Tuscan Enologist Giulio Gambelli to be his winemaker and together they created Il Colle Brunello di Montalcino. They produced about 150-200 cases a year and stored them in an underground cellar, never releasing them on the market. Apparently it wasn’t until he was dying that he told his family about this secret wine they had been making for almost 20 years. His daughter Catarena took over the winery in 2001 and picked up where her father left off. Little has changed in the last 35-40 years: they still use natural yeasts, there’s no temperature control, there are long maceration times, no filtering, and the wine is aged in Slavonian botti. Although I’m sure it will only improve with age, the wine is quite beautiful now, ripe with stewed plums, leather and anise. When you’re ready to cook a leg of lamb or a pot roast, this would definitely be a good choice. Christine Manula
From very old vines (replanted in 2015), this is very much in the same mold as the Chianti – and was vinified identically – but is considerably deeper and rounder without any additional wood, alcohol, or extract – just a direct expression of the old vines. I think this is remarkable – it strikes a fascinating balance between palate-enveloping darker fruit and finesse. Really a super wine. Jamie Wolff
"Cherry water and rocks." This is how Monte Bernardi winemaker Michael Schmeltzer first described his 2015 rosé to us, and we couldn't agree more. This blend of Sangiovese (90%) with Canaiolo, Malvasia and Trebbiano comes from the village of Panzano in the heart of Chianti Classico. Certified organic and farmed biodynamically, this is serious and classic Italian rosé, abundant in structure, texture, depth and longevity on the palate. "Cherry water and rocks" is indeed an apt description, and those qualities are interwoven with raspberry, rhubarb pie, an herbal medley, and a faint, pleasant bitterness reminiscent of candied blood orange peel that feels refreshing on the palate. Delicious now, but should have the stuffing to age a few years. Oskar Kostecki
San Fernando Ciliegiolo is a perfect example of how delightful the grape Ciliegiolo can be when made as a varietal wine. Produced from a 1.7 Hectare parcel of young vines the grapes are fermented with native yeasts over 12 days, rested on the lees for five months, and bottled unfined with only a light filtration. The wine smells of sour cherries, raspberries, woody green herbs, and just a whiff of lavender. The palate is playful, with refreshing acidity and very soft tannins giving the wine a juicy feel. This is an honest quaffable wine that will pair effortlessly with all sorts of food: try it with caprese salad, cured salmon, soft cheese, cured salami, braised pork or enjoy it on its own. AP