Today was sublime! The weather perfect, the visits seamless, the wines outstanding, the lunch authentic- I can’t do any better than this! We saw Montalcino as I’ve never seen it before: from the perspective of the smaller satellite towns that make up this stellar Tuscan DOCG.
Our day started at Argiano, owned by Noemi Cinzano who spends half the year at her other winery in Patagonia. The Renaissance castello maintains its aura of antiquity right down to the inch thick mold on the cellar ceilings. We were treated to their top 5 wines: Rosso di Montalcino ’10 from 100% sangiovese; Brunello ’07 an outstanding vintage and as per Brunello regulations, made from 100% sangiovese; Argiano Rosso Toscano NC, a blend of 40% cab,20% merlot,20% syrah and 20% sangiovese and at 10 euros, my outstanding find of the tour so far!!!; Solengo ’09, designed by Giacomo Tachis with 35% cab,35% petit verdot, 15% merlot, 15% syrah; J. Alberto Bodega Noemia ’06 Patagonia with 95% malbec and 5% merlot.
Then we went to the small (32 people) hamlet of Camigliano for a visit and lunch at Camigliano. The owners, a rich family from Milan, bought the entire hamlet in the 70’s and invested in a super-modern winery in this medieval town. Our meal, prepared by a local resident, consisted of spaghetti with fresh tomatoes accompanied by Rosso di Montalcino ’10; wild boar in a spicy local sauce with Brunello ’07; cantucci with S’Antimo Cabernet Sauvignon “Campo ai Mori” ’07.
The village incidentally was preparing for their annual Festa of the Galleto, small rooster, where they expect over 1500 people over the weekend.
Our final visit was to Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona. We first visited the spectacular village of Castelnuovo Abate, with streets so small even our mini-bus could not enter. We visited the original family castle in the town center; I assure you that this town rarely gets tourists and it’s a shame because of its stunning beauty. Then we went to the recently built winery outside the town where we tasted their Rosso di Montalcin0 ’10; Montecucco ’09, a blend of 85% sangiovese, 10% syrah and 5% merlot; ending with Brunello Pianrosso ’07. Ciacci wines are all fruit forward and easy to drink right now.
Don’t forget to look for the Argiano Rosso Toscano.
Tomorrow we go to chianti classico and I’ll report on our vists to Castello di Volpaia where we will have lunch in the villa and Castello d’Albola.