Tuscany is an ancient land and Montalcino winemaking tradition runs deep. Which makes Jan Erbach and Caroline Pobitzer miracle workers of a sort. Neither of them are locals (he’s German and she’s from Alto Adige), and yet their little estate has gone from being an exciting young estate to being one of Montalcino's flat out best. Of course, they haven’t done it alone. They became tight friends with Stella di Campalto and Francesco Leanza (founder of Podere Salicutti), both of whom also began making wine in the ‘90s. They all share a passion for Sangiovese, organic and biodynamic farming, and the terroir of Montalcino. They even started an organization, Sangiovese Per Amico, to increase understanding and appreciation of the grape and its wines. Erbach, who trained as a winemaker in Germany, makes the wines with a very light touch. It helps that the wine has the sort of effortless complexity that comes from diverse soils (clay, calcerous, stony) and different expositions and elevations (as high as 500 masl).
What importer Polaner Selections has to say about this wine...
VINEYARDSourced from the upper part of the Bassolino vineyard which is located south and slightly east of the winery towareds Castellnuovo dell'Abate.SOILThe vines grow on clayey, in part very calcareous soil with a lot of easily crumbling rock fragments. Characteristic for this soil are greyish brown clays, Siltstones and continental Conglomerates that where formed more than 60 Million years ago.VITICULTURECertified biodynamic. Hand-harvested. Vineyard planted in 1997. Vines trained with a one-armed cordon.VINIFICATIONAfter careful destemming we thoroughly inspected the berries once more on the sorting table, separating the choice berries from dried or overripe ones and from leaves, stalks and insects. Once in the barrel for vinification, the fermentation began only after three or four days. It is our practice never to add sulphur to the grapes or to cool them down in order to delay fermentation. This year the high content of phenols had reduced the growth of yeast on the berries. Therefore, spontaneous fermentation caused by the grapes’ inherent yeast content started slowly but persistently, and after a slow start proceeded quite speedily with temperatures never exceeding 31°C. The must macerated a bit more than 6 weeks.AGINGThen, the young wine was transferred into a 25 hl Slavonian oak cask where it matured for 55 month. The malolactic fermentation took effect immediately after the alcoholic fermentation still in the fermentation vat. Neither artificial yeast or bacteria nor any other enzymatic or technological additives were used during the whole process of transformation of the wine in order to maintain the authentic and characteristic taste of our vineyards. Ages two years in the bottle before release.