Having recognized the importance of the Sangiovese grape, Signor Manetti crafted his wines with an almost exclusive reliance on that grape variety. By 1981, due to Signor Manetti’s refusal to incorporate Trebbiano into the Montevertine blend, Montevertine left the Chianti Classico consortium, thereby forgoing the Chianti Classico denomination. In time the consortium recognized the wisdom of Manetti’s stance but Montevertine remains outside the consortium, simply labeling its wines “Rosso di Toscana”. Because of these circumstances, Montevertine is frequently, but erroneously, included in the category of “super-Tuscan” wine. In fact, Montevertine’s policy of strict reliance on Sangiovese with a small complement of Colorino and Canaiolo is in direct contradiction to the approach of the “super-Tuscan” group of wines which purposely include non-local grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot in their blends. Despite the formal lack of the appellation, Montevertine is one of the rare examples of a true Chianti Classico.
Recent years have seen a generational shift at the Montevertine estate with the passing of Sergio Manetti, Giulio Gambelli (the estate’s oenologue for many years, and a fierce proponent of the Sangiovese grape), and most recently Bruno Bini (the cellarmaster). Montevertine is now in the hands of Martino Manetti, son of Sergio, and Paolo Salvi, Gambelli’s protégée, both of whom remain dedicated to the style and philosophy of their forebears. We are confident that this seamless transition means that Montevertine’s tradition of excellence will be carried into the future.
The estate sits at an elevation of 425 meters. There are 18 hectares of vineyards at Montevertine, 90% of which are planted to the Sangiovese grape with the remaining vineyards dedicated to Colorino and Canaiolo. The vineyards are divided into nine separate parcels with the oldest vines planted in the Pergole Torte vineyard in 1968. After a manual harvest, the wines are fermented in large (150hl) cement cuves for at least 25 days. The wine is pumped over and the cap submerged daily to create optimum conditions for a long and slow extraction. The malolactic fermentation also occurs in large volume cement cuves before it is racked into Slavonian oak barrels that range in size from 5 ½ to 18 hectoliters capacity. The Pergole Torte is ultimately racked into smaller French (Alliers) oak barrels for final six months of its elevage.
All movement of the wine is by gravity and the wine is never pumped, in accordance with the traditional methods of the region. The wines are bottled without filtration and then held in bottle for at least six months prior to release. As is our frequent habit, we usually ship our allocations of wines from the estate later than other Montevertine clients to afford these wines additional time in bottle before their introduction to the American market.
Wine production at Montevertine is essentially devoted to three wines
|Pian del Ciampolo: composed of Sangiovese with tiny amounts of Canaiolo and Colorino blended in, this is the basic red wine of the estate. It sees 18 months of aging in large barrel. The 1.5 hectare vineyard parcel was re-planted in 2003; the vineyards face east – northeast which produces a long growing season resulting in the complete maturation of the grapes and exceptional balance to this wine which reflects the classic Montevertine style marked by elegance and complexity.|
Montevertine: the standard bearer of the estate, it is aged 24 months in large Slavonian oak barrels and is composed of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo (with perhaps a hint of Colorino). The fruit for this bottling comes primarily from a 2.5 hectare parcel of vines planted in 1982 on a south – southeast facing slope.
|Le Pergole Torte: the prestige wine of Montevertine is only produced in outstanding vintages. This ultimate wine is aged in large Slavonian oak barrels for 18 months and then racked into small French oak (Allier) barrels for the final six month stage of its elevage. It is produced primarily from a two hectare vineyard planted in 1968 exclusively to Sangiovese vines with a north-northeast exposure.|
The story of the legendary Montevertine estate in Radda-in-Chianti begins in 1967, when Milanese industrialist Sergio Manetti purchased the property and immediately planted two hectares of vines.
A new round of releases from the legendary Montevertine estate, high in the hills above Radda-in-Chianti, is always a cause for celebration. Montevertine as we know it today began back in 1967, when Milanese steel magnate Sergio Manetti acquired the property as a summer home. Within a few years, and with the help of a beloved local named Bruno Bini who was born and raised at Montevertine,
Martino Manetti remarked during our visit last April that no two consecutive vintages at Montevertine have had remotely the same character since 2007, and perhaps no pair underlines that more forcefully than 2014 and 2015.