2018 Le Ragnaie Troncone Toscana Rosso
Region: Montalcino < Tuscany < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic/biodynamic farming; marl, clay-limestone soil; 2 week maceration; ages 12 months in large casks and 6 months in concrete vats before bottling; unfined/unfiltered with no 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!)
The Le Ragnaie estate is famous for its important and beautiful Brunello wines, but we're loving Richard's lighter, fresher cuveés like his Troncone Rosso. Once labeled Chianti Colli Senesi (an appellation many producers in Montalcino use for vineyards that fall marginally outside DOC(G) boundaries), Troncone comes from vineyards at the highest point on the Ragnaie estate—a beautiful, south-facing amphitheater perched at 600+ meters -- and shows how bright and fragrant the reds of this region can be. The color is light, a pretty pinky-red, and the structure is lithe and taut, but this isn't a simple chillable red -- the fruit is vivid but understated, like Sangiovese for forest gnomes, with an expressive palate of wild cherries, blood orange, bay leaves, rose petals and dusty earth. Such a lovely wine for the festive meals of the season. We like to serve it slightly chilled, but this one could go either way.