Il Marroneto, Sangiovese, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany 2016
Il Marroneto was founded in 1974 by Giuseppe Mori. Son Alessandro Mori joined the estate immediately, creating the first vintage in 1980. The estate is located in the higher elevations of the cooler northern zone of Montalcino, and is one of the older estates in the appellation. Traditional in style and adhering to a philosophy of minimal intervention in the vineyard and cellar, Il Marroneto foregoes conventional methods. Focusing on the health of the vine through spacing and nutrient-rich topsoil, Mori eschews the use of chemicals, allows only native ferments and ages in large oak cask.
Alessandro Mori’s Brunellos are some of the most long-lived in Montalcino. Il Marroneto is an old tower dating back to the 13th century where the nuns (that lived in the Madonna delle Grazie convent) kept the chestnuts used to make flour for bread. The estate’s 5.8 hectares have been planted in stages: The first 10% in the 1975, an additional 10% in the 1977, and the rest in the winter between 1982-1983. Elevation of the vineyard sits at 400 meters above sea level, and soils are an intricate mix of mostly sand, large stones of limestone, and galestro.
This first vintage of Il Marroneto was bottled in 1980. The vines are an average age of 35 years with ample vine spacing of 3400 per hectare. A nine-day native ferment in 50% stainless and 50% wood occurs with occasional punchdowns. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered after ageing 39 months in 2600-liter French cask, and further refining for six months in bottle.
The northern zone of Montalcino is characterized by higher elevations, steep slopes, and cooler temperatures. These conditions are ideal for creating Brunellos of significant ageing potential, showing complexity, increased aromatics, classic tannic structure and nervy acidity. The precision of Sangiovese is transparently conveyed when using the most natural and minimal of winemaking techniques.
Sangiovese’s high natural acidity and complex tannic structure make it an admirable ally to a range of hearty meat or game dishes. Go the traditional route with braised short ribs or Osso Bucco, but don’t be hesitant. Brunello benefits from a straightforward pairing, no artifice – as the Tuscans prefer. Bean and kale soup, papparedelle, or an aged pecorino, are resoundingly local choices.
Subregion: Brunello di Montalcino