Our tasting impressions
Smells great, blending complex aromas of soil, aged leather, bright fruit, and high-toned, floral, spice notes. Opens with a bit of chew in the mouth before the limestone influence adds it’s ripping focus. Deep fruit on the palate remains transparent, with gorgeously knit tannins holding the midpalate together, lending great energy, and leading to an elegant, saline finish that remains super tense. It really grabs your attention and yet remains so fine and well balanced. The limestone truly is the defining element of this wine. Introduced by noted Italian wine expert Gregory Dal Piaz, who calls it the Corton of Chianti referring to the Burgundy Grand Cru which also has a pronounced limestone influence.
About this wine
90% Sangiovese with Colorino and Canaiolo rounding out the blend, Vineyards range in age from 20 - 40 years, though the average for this bottling is about 35 years old as this is a selection of mostly older vines planted on an outcropping of limestone, which is very rare in Chianti Classico. The vineyard is basically two east facing terraces 320-350 meters above the village of Greve, adjacent to the hamlet of Montefioralle.
The organic vineyard (certification with the 2018 vintage) covers 4 hectares, three of which are in production for a portfolio of five different wines. The wine is fermented in concrete for 12-18 days without temperature control, then it spends over a year in stainless steel, undergoing malolactic fermentation and natural clarification before it is placed in used barrique for two years.
About the grape
Sangiovese is the most planted grape in Italy and is the dominant grape throughout the central part of the country. There are many variants and even different names like Prugnolo Gentile, Brunello, Sangiovetoand Morellino.
Like Pinot Noir, Sangiovese is heavily influenced by its terroir and similarly can be quite transparent in its differences from place to place. Also like Pinot Noir, Sangiovese is prone to spontaneous mutations so the list of clones is vast and plays an important role in determining a wine’s style.
Traditionally, Sangiovese-based wines (except in Montalcino) have served as the backbone for a blended wine, though more recently we have seen 100% Sangiovese wines becoming more common.
About the vintage
2016 is a modern day classic vintage in Tuscany. A near perfect growing season that started slowly, warmed up nicely through the summer, and ended with a classic autumn. Ample warm days and cool nights produced a slightly reduced crop of wines that combine the richness of low-yields with the near perfect balance of mature tannins and bright acidity.
On your table
This wine is a bit of a paradox. It’s firmly structured, edgy even, but not big. All the minerality calls out for something with a similar character and beef springs to mind, though this might fare better with a richer cut, sirloin for example, roasted to keep the flavors clean and bright. But, it is Sangiovese and would also be a terrific match for tomato rich dishes as well.
Lorenzo Sieni is a contemporary man, yet there is something timeless about him, the way he moves. Certainly the way he runs the family winery: Montefioralle, which is one of the smallest in Chianti Classico.
Originally planted by his father in 1964, this is the classic example of a hobbyist vineyard gone pro. The land had been owned by the church at the time of it’s planting, though it had been abandoned for some time, the Sieni family worked the land and brought life back it. The vineyard dates back to the14th century.
In the 1990s the local church reassessed their stake in the village of Montefioralle, they sold two hectares of land to Lorenzo’s father, which forms the core of the estate; a few years later another, contiguous lot was purchased, with the finale hectare of vineyard being planted in 2016. Their land is very well-suited to viticulture. The east facing vineyards mitigate against the heat of the late afternoon, the topsoil is thin and the base of limestone is unparalleled in the region.
Tucked away on a hillside to the west of Greve in Chianti, Montefioralle is an enchanting medieval village. As the Chianti Classico Consorzio begins its work of defining the best growing areas, there is no doubt that Montefioralle will be recognized as one of the great crus of Chianti Classico, and no one has a better position within that cru than Montefioralle.