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Wine has been made at Montecalvi since the 1400s. Montecalvi was for centuries part of the Castello di Uzzano estate, at one time owned by Niccolò da Uzzano, a Florentine politician in the Medici era, and latterly owned by Don Briano Carlo Maria Castelbarco-Albani Visconti Simonetta dei principi di Montignano (the Count Castelbarco). It was farmed throughout this period according to the mezzadria system, by which local farmers farmed the estate for, and shared the year’s harvest with, the castello.
Montecalvi became an independent estate in the 1980s and is now owned by the Drake family, owners of Collalto in the Adelaide Hills region of Australia. They have set about upgrading and updating the vineyards, restoring the old vines (they have one of oldest vineyards in Tuscany, planted in 1932) and replanting with indigenous Italian varieties. They are now a certified organic estate and all that they do is with an eye towards sustainable farming in the vineyard and making wines (and olive oil) that are the best reflection of their particular place in their particular part of Tuscany.
The estate is 10 hectares, with about four hectares under vine (and half a hectare under olives).
It is Montecalvi’s intimate size that lies behind the success of their wines. They know their vineyards like the back of their hands, helping them to tend to each, row by row, vine by vine, bunch by bunch. By the time harvest comes around, the grapes arriving in the cellar are the very best that the year can bring.
Montecalvi’s vineyards are among the finest in the Chianti Classico area, on sandstone/ clay soil at an altitude of 250 m above sea level and with ideal south/ south-east/ south-west exposures. They farm their vineyards (and all of their estate) organically and sustainably.
This is Montecalvi’s second Chianti Classico Riserva. The fruit is from the Montecalvi Alto vineyard and is picked, vinified and aged separately. Fermented in small batches, 25% whole clusters, aged in (third use) barrique for 24 months. The wine is poised, elegant, understated – the shape of Montecalvi Chianti Classico Riserva to come. The label was painted by renowned local artist, Sandro Granucci. It is called ‘Equilibrio Ecologico’, the sculpture of which is at Montecalvi..
Glowing mid ruby. Subtle, yet concentrated balsamic nose with ripe raspberry top notes and still a little closed. Ripe pure fruit with increasingly vibrant acidity and fantastic chewy tannins. Long and focused but closes up. Patience needed but will undoubtedly pay off
The wine is elegant, poised, and eminently drinkable now but with real cellaring potential.