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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.
Vigna Vecchia is the wine made from Montecalvi’s Le Terrazze vineyard, one of the oldest vineyards in Tuscany planted on dry stone wall terraces in 1932. Not just a single vineyard wine, but wine made from ancient Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Ciliegiolo vines. Fewer grapes per vine, and especially vines of this antiquity, means more concentration, more complexity, and more character.
Montecalvi’s VV spends 30 days in stainless steel tanks, 24 months in French oak tonneaux (second and third use), and at least 12 months in bottle prior to release. Because each of the old vines yields only a handful of grapes, they produce only a limited number of bottles of VV each vintage.
Bright, bright ruby red with slightly brick-red edge. Stressed fruity in the nose for fresh raspberries, crunch cherries and juicy strawberries. Elegant and fine on the palate, velvety against the tongue, fruity in the drink, with a long finish. A treat!
Venison Ragù with fresh pappardelle.
10-15 years with careful cellaring.