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Villa Sant’Anna

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This beautiful estate in the village of Abbadia di Montepulciano in the hills of southern Tuscany is owned and operated by Simona Ruggeri and her two daughters, Anna and Margharita. The activities of this azienda are predominantly devoted to the production of fruits and vegetables. Approximately 10 hectares of prime hillside land is set aside for the cultivation of the finest Tuscan grape varietals. Prior to 1989 the wine was sold off in bulk. As an experiment, the Ruggeri clan assembled their first wine for bottling and we were called in by a mutual friend to assess the result. Impressed by this initial effort, we tasted through the other wines in the cantina and we were particularly delighted by the quality of the fruit of the Chianti from the Colli Senesi. So, we counseled the Ruggeri family to purchase a set of the finest botti from Gamba in which to age the Chianti Colli Senesi and, beginning with the 1990 vintage, this wine was bottled and we commenced a long and joyous relationship with this estate.

The next logical step was to purchase a prime parcel in the Vino Nobile appellation to marry with several special plots they owned that were already entitled to that appellation. 1993 was witness to the first Vino Nobile di Montepulciano bottling at Villa Sant’Anna and, shortly thereafter (as of 1999), a Rosso di Montepulciano was added to the lineup of wines issuing from this estate in the tiny village of Abbadia di Montepulciano.

The greatest and most rare wine of the estate is the Vin Santo which has always been produced by the family and bottled for their use and for the pleasure of their friends on special occasions.

All grapes are harvested manually. The vineyards are worked with the utmost care and respect for the environment by a small, loyal team who has worked for the Ruggeri-Fabroni family for many years.

Ruggieri-Colli-Senesi-2001 The Chianti Colli Senesi: from vineyards with a southwestern exposure situated at about 1,000 feet above sea level. Composed of 80% Sangiovese with 10% Canaiolo and 10% other indigenous varietals, the average age of these vines is now (as of 2012) approximately 30 years. The grapes for the Chianti Colli Senesi are macerated for 15 days in cement cuves at temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius. After the malolactic fermentation, the wine is then aged in mid-sized barrels for 8 months to a year prior to bottling. The wine is then released after an additional 3 to 6 months of bottle age. Production levels are approximately 1,800 cases per year.
RU-rosso-di-montepulciano-label-2001 The Rosso di Montepulciano: This wine is sourced from the southeastern-facing vineyard positioned at about 1000 feet above sea level. The vineyard is planted almost exclusively to Sangiovese (90%) with various other red grapes making up the balance. Fermentation takes place in large cement vats with a 15 day maceration period, followed by an elevage of about six months in small and medium-sized barrels. As is typical at Villa Sant’Anna, the wine is then left to age in bottle for an additional period (three months or more) before release. Nearly 2,000 cases are produced annually.
RU-Vino-Nobile-1999 The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano: As mentioned above, the Vino Nobile was first vinified in 1993. Based on Prugnolo Gentile (85%) and Mammolo & Canaiolo (15%), he vineyards for the Vino Nobile are approximately 25 years average age with a southwestern exposure but at a higher elevation than those for the neighboring Chianti Colli Senesi. The yields are severely restricted, averaging 20% less than for the Chianti. The fermentation period lasts 20 to 25 days at temperatures that reach 30 degrees Celsius. The wine is then racked into a mix of small and medium sized French oak barrels for two years, at which point it is then bottled unfiltered and allowed to rest in the cool cellars of Sant’Anna for an additional 6 months before being released. About 2,000 cases of Vino Nobile are produced annually.

The Vin Santo: The Vin Santo is produced in the classic manner: late harvest; grapes left exposed to the air to raisin on racks for six months in a special section of the cellars; then, the grapes are crushed and pressed with the juice to slowly ferment and mature in miniature barrels of eternal age. The Vin Santo of Villa Sant’Anna is composed of 40% Trebbiano, 40% Malvasia and 20% other indigenous grapes referred to in local parlance as “pulce in culo.” The grapes are harvested from vines that are at least 30 years old and the yields here are extremely low. The Vin Santo is bottled by hand (see the accompanying photo) and only in half bottles and from specific vintages. This Vin Santo is a marvel that must be experienced.

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Villa Sant’Anna

Antonio Galloni reviews the following three wines from Villa Sant’Anna

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