FEBRUARY'S WINE OF THE MONTH #2
Practicing Organic Farming
85% Sangiovese with Syrah, Merlot, & Cabernet Sauvignon
Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona is a mouthful of a name, not uncommon for Italian nobility, but a name that Italian wine drinkers know on sight. Their Brunello di Montalcinos are highly regarded, among the ultimate expressions of the Sangiovese grape. But everyday situations call for a quaffable wine with little pretense, and which is also flexible as a food partner. Enter their delightful everyday Rosso Toscana ("Tuscan red")!
This Montalcino wine is simply called a "Tuscan red" partly because it has varieties other than Sangiovese, though there's still enough of that variety's character shining through so that it comes off like a local rather than a tourist. Neither are there any oak flavors, which can be overbearing in a wine like this; it was aged only in glass-lined concrete.
With air, the wine blooms, becoming plump and juicy, with a medium body and a vibrancy that gives the wine a fresh, rather than heavy, feel. The flavors are driven by soft red fruits mingling with violet and some spice and terracotta earthy accents. The mouth-feel features a mouthwatering bed of tannin that seems to melt in the mouth and a dry but easy-going, ripely-fruited finish. While you can enjoy this on its own, it will be shine with a variety of Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
While the estate itself is centuries old, its recent history makes for the best part of its story: the last Countess had no heir, and so left everything to the humble vineyard manager, who shaped it into the Montalcino icon it is today. His children took over a decade ago, and along with their children, continue to manage the winery today.