2018 Migliarina Montozzi Chianti Superiore
Region: Chianti <Tuscany <Italy
Viticulture/ cellar stats: Certified organic farming; tufa and clay soils, 270m altitude, soil is 60% sand 33% limestone, 7% clay; 12 day maceration in cement, aging for at least 1 yr in cement; bottled unfined/unfiltered with <25ppm added So2; 14% ABV
Winemaker: Antonio and Carlo Bartolini Baldelli
Sangiovese is the king of grapes in Tuscany, going into everything from the table wines drunk by the gallon in the region, to the serious and age-worthy Brunello di Montalcino wines. In between, there's a huge amount of Sangiovese pumping through the Chianti "factories" in the hills outside of Florence and Sienna, where unfortunately quantity has overtaken quality as the key metric for most. The secret to discovering great Chianti, true Chianti, is turning to the small, family run, boutique estates working to elevate the quality and reputation of winemaking in the region.
Small family estates like Villa Migliarina, which has been around since the 1600s and is surrounded by a 500 hectare hunting preserve, along with vineyards, olive trees and fields of grain. It is the sort of stuff that Airbnb salivates over and where well-heeled tourists sojourn to experience their own piece of Italian history, and reserve for weddings or parties. But not so in this case! Cousins Antonio and Carlo Bartolini Baldelli arduously preserve tradition at the villa and estate, and opening it up as a ballroom for strangers does not fall into that category. This carries over to the viticulture and winemaking as well – things like sticking with indigenous grapes, organic farming and old school fermentation vessels like concrete vats. To this day they use the old cellar underneath the Villa. With nothing more on their agenda than to make wine that truly represents their land, they’ve kept things simple – but we find that this usually results in the best wines!
The Migliarina is a Sangiovese lover’s dream - reminiscent of classic Chianti, with aromas of dusty rose, a touch of smoke, and dark fruit. The mouthfeel is silky with cherry, plum and a touch of bramble, and it goes down very easy no matter your red wine preference! Hearty Tuscan food comes to mind as a pairing but the ethereal nature of this wine also has us thinking sushi rolls, panzanella and ratatouille.