Our tasting impressions
Such a deep, rich nose. It’s dark and intense with lots of umami flavor. More about structure right now. The tannins are drying and the fruit is muted. It presents all the requisite features of an outstanding Riserva that should evolve magnificently for years.
About this wine
Sangiovese is blended with 6% Canaiolo and 4% Colorino. The vineyard plots on the southern slope are divided over different terraces with a southeast exposition at 400 meters above sea level. The soil is uniquely calcareous limestone with excellent draining capacity allowing the roots to reach deeply into the ground. For the Riserva, the oldest vines were planted in 1964 and the average age is 35 years.
The handpicked grapes, harvested September 85, 2017, are de-stemmed and pressed. Fermentation and maceration is 25 days in cement tanks, followed by Malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks. At the end of winter, the wine is moved to used oak barrels for 2 years. 3,100 bottles were produced with a light filtration on June, 4 2021.
Here is a maturing curve suggested by the Sienis:
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.
Cannaiolo and Colorino are traditional blending grapes for Tuscan Sangiovese. Colorino is sparsely used today. Apropos of the name, its deep pigmentation mostly adds color to the blend but also tannins. Cannaiolo balances the other two with softness and imparts graceful herbal flavors.
About the vintage
Lorenzo's report: Unlike the previous years very high temperatures and spring and summer drought, 2018 could not sustain dry, sunny weather. It rained frequently during the summer but Montefioralle was very lucky and missed much of it. We were able to keep the vineyard rather dry but at the same time without excessive heat peaks. September was very good, sunny and with a good night-day temperature variation. This allowed us to reach levels comparable to 2016, even if it was not a particularly favorable year in most of Tuscany.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
Montefioralle (the mountain of flowers) is a tiny, picturesque medieval hamlet in Greve in Chianti with a distinct micro-climate. If Tuscany had a Cru system, it would be a stand-out.
Renato Sieni first rented, then purchased plots from this 14th century vineyard from the church. With later acquisitions, the family now own 4 hectares, 3 of which is used for growing grapes. They also grow olives and produce a bit of fineoil.
It is very much a family micro-estate, producing about 15,000 bottles per year. Fernando (son of Renato), the octogenarian patriarch continues to manage the vineyards and advises in the cellar. Lorenzo is the principal winemaker, while maintaining a thriving digital entrepreneurial career. His sister Alessia manages the winery and their thriving tourism activities with Lorenzo's wife Manila.
The vineyards have been certified organic since 2019 and the enterprise is conducted with great consideration for its environmental impact.
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.