Le Ragnaie is the greatest thing to emerge in Montalcino so far this century. It may be the greatest thing to emerge in Montalcino since the rise of Soldera, with whom they have much in common: an uncompromising adherence to tradition (aging exclusively in large neutral Slavonian oak barrels, ultra-long macerations), natural farming, minimal intervention in the cellar, and excellent terroir. But there is one way in which Le Ragnaie stands apart from Soldera that makes their wines even more extreme: high altitudes. Le Ragnaie farms the highest altitude vines in Brunello di Montalcino! Some vineyards are so high up that they are above Brunello di Montalcino's legal limit of 600 meters.
Truly a breathtaking, traditional, Brunello, this is macerated for 45 days and aged in large barrels. This wine is like a treasure hunt, layer after layer it uncovers different sides of itself. Located in the sub-Zone of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, the slightly warmer climate creates a wine framed by refreshing acidity and gripping tannins, colored by under-ripe blackberry, dark chocolate, mushrooms and tomato.
"The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Fornace is a dark, smoky and savory expression of southern Montalcino fruit. A beguiling display of earthy minerals encasing blackberry and cherry with exotic spice and sour citrus resonates in the glass. It’s deeply textural, silky yet verging on velvety, all carried by vibrant acids with ripe red fruits, savory herbs and inner florals which gain volume toward the close. Hints of dried orange peels and black tea linger through the long and youthfully tannic finale." -Eric Guido
"Of the five new releases from Le Ragnaie, the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Fornace is distinguished by its richness, its sultry dark fruit flavors and the firmness of the tannins. The wine is fermented in cement for up to 45 days on ambient yeasts. The fruit comes from 35-year-old vines. All these factors contribute to the rich concentration you taste here and the long impression the wine leaves on the finish." -Monica Larner
"Though muscular in style and rippled with firm, dusty tannins, this Brunello has the requisite ripe cherry and plum flavors to match, showing fine purity and finesse. Earth, Tuscan scrub and sanguine accents chime in on the long finish." -Bruce Sanderson