2019 Le Ragnaie Toscana Bianco (orange)
Region: Montalcino < Tuscany < Italy
Grapes: Trebbiano, Malvasia
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic/biodynamic farming; marl, clay-limestone soil; 7 days skin contact then aged 10 months in large neutral French oak; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added SO2; 13% ABV
The combination of a high elevation and a young, dynamic winemaker working biodynamically makes Le Ragnaie a unicorn in historic Montalcino. Riccardo and Jennifer Campinoti purchased the property, with the highest vineyards in Montalcino, in 2000. They've been certified organic since 2009, and have since started working biodynamically, eschewing all sprays except biodynamic preparations, and using sheep in the vineyards for weed control and manure (soil health!)
Le Ragnaie is famous for their important and beautiful Brunello wines, but we're loving their off-the-beaten-path bottles like Miscelone featured this month also, and this skin-contact white -- a style rarely seen in Tuscany. And while the focus of Le Ragnaie is classic Sangiovese wines, when the Campinoti’s purchased the land, these white vines were already planted, so they decided to honor the tradition of old-school Tuscan whites with this cuvée.
With 7 days on the skins, the wine picks up a light orange hue and subtle tannins, along with a gorgeous plush texture. But it remains elegant, not too grippy, more mineral, dried apricot and peach, nicely framed by a slightly tannic finish. Super tiny production and delicious, this is an easy starter orange wine, one that even non natural wine drinkers will love.