Le Chiuse, Rosso di Montalcino, 2018

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Most Rossos come from fruit that’s not quite right for Brunello production. They might be young grapes, or from less-than-perfect terroir. Not so with Le Chiuse’s — the vines range between 60 and 70 years old, and the wine is made just like the Brunello, albeit with earlier drinking in mind, so it's aged less both in barrel and in bottle before release.  The farming is organic, and the wines are 100% Sangiovese Grosso, the clone of Sangiovese isolated by the Biondi-Santi family and considered by many to be superior to Sangiovese's other variations. Most importantly, the wine is downright delicious, and so indicative of its place.

Le Chiuse has a perfect pedigree. Their vineyards were key Biondi-Santi holdings since before Ferrucio Biondi-Santi created Brunello di Montalcino. In fact, when Simonetta Valiani (Ferrucio’s great-granddaughter) inherited the land, the vines were rented to her uncle who put the fruit in Biondi-Santi’s Riserva.

Even the fruit has pedigree. It's not just any old Sangiovese Grosso (Brunello’s special and mandatory clone of Sangiovese), but a special clone that Tancredi Biondi-Santi selected for the site (BS 11, if you want the details). And what a site: hillside land between 1,000 and 1,600 feet asl, with complex, rocky soils (lots of marine fossils) separated by clay striations.

Simonetta and family (her son, Lorenzo Magnelli, is the winemaker now) farm this terroir organically. They are even certified. The winemaking is traditional, as you would expect. They harvest by hand, ferment on indigenous yeasts, and age in large Slovenian oak casks.

Professional Reviews

Antonio Galloni

AG 92
"The 2018 Rosso di Montalcino from Le Chiuse di Sotto takes Rosso to a whole new level, with a bouquet that pulls you closer to the glass. This is showing mineral-infused black cherry, with moist earth tones, fall leaves, green stems, and hints of animal musk. Strawberry, leaning toward cranberry, citrus-tinged spices, hints of tannin and pretty red florals resonate throughout the finish, leaving an impression more of a Brunell than a Rosso. Simply stunning." -Vinous


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  • Body

    Medium Bodied