The quirk of the Le Ragnaie winery is that a portion of its Sangiovese vineyards is located 600 meters above sea level, in the highest part of the Montalcino wine area. If you are curious to know why the winery is called The Ragnaie, it is, very simply, because it was named after the area where the heart of the company lies.
Le Ragnaie covers an area of 28 hectares. The land is cultivated with vineyards and olive groves, according to the organic farming model.
The vineyards are located in three distinct portions of the Montalcino area: the ones closest to the town the company was named after are in the central Montalcino area; the Petroso vineyard is located along the Scarnacuoia road, close to the town, in an area rich in ancient wine tradition; Vigna La Fornace extends over the southern region of the Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C. (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin ) zone, which is known as the Castelnuovo dell’Abate area, in front of Mount Amiata. The average altitude in this particular stretch of terrain is 400 meters above sea level. The vineyard was planted in 1983 on top of a sediment area formed in the Pleistocene. All the work in the vineyard and in the cellar follows a very natural philosophy, with all due respect to the land and the ecosystem. They do not use fertilizers or artificial chemicals. The company is owned by Riccardo and Jennifer Campinoti. The owner, Riccardo Campinoti, can be considered the “golden boy” of Brunello di Montalcino, because he managed to impose on the market his own style, marked by the sobriety, austerity and elegance of its wines, with a distinctly recognizable personal touch. Great credit for good results must also be given to the winemaker Maurizio Castelli, for having managed to achieve the highest quality products while still showing deference to the territory.
The wine that impressed me the most, and that is fully deserving of being drunk in all situations, is the Brunello di Montalcino 2011 La Fornace (The Furnace means), but I assure you that the 2012 vintage, just out, is of equally sublime class. With that said, we’ll be strictly focusing on the 2011 vintage here.
The wine is preferred for its not easy perfumes including cherry and fresh marasca, balsamic notes, intense dark spices, then cardamom and juniper, bay leaf and liquorice, menthol and mineral tones, almost hydrocarbon. It is drunk with pleasure: thanks to a consistent freshness it is juicy, persistent, harmonious, perfectly balanced in all its components. Of particular note are the fine and mellow tannins. It has a modern style, rich, but not pretentious. One of the best Brunello tasted in recent years.
Some technical details: after the harvest the grapes are selected on a vibrating sorting table where only the best specimens are chosen. The musts are fermented and macerated in concrete vats where they stay from 25 to 90 days. This is then followed by 36 months’ aging in large Slavonian oak.
Retail price: € 70 – $ 75; My rating: 93/100
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