Thursday, August 9, 2018

Montefioralle Celebrating 50 Harvests and Going Strong

Celebrating 50 harvests is just as monumental as celebrating your 50th birthday or your 50th wedding anniversary.

Montefioralle is celebrating their 50th harvest this year. Located in the small medieval hamlet of Montefioralle that is located not to far from Greve in Chianti. The castle dates back to 931 when a German monk was passing through ended up staying and set up a fortified monastery. The castle changed hands many times before ending up in the ownership of the local parish. In 1964 Renato Sieni took over the running of the vineyards that belonged to the parish of Montefioralle. The first harvest was in 1968 and in the 1990’s Renato had the opportunity to purchase the vineyards. Today together with his son Fernando they have planted new vines and began producing Chianti Classico wines.

Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico is the name of the wine that contains at least 80% of Sangiovese grape. What is special about Montefioralle’s Sangiovese or Chianti Classico is the microclimate the vineyards sits in that gives these Sangiovese grape the unique character that sets them apart from the rest. The vineyards sits at southern foot of the hill and it is believed that the possibility of a glacier is the reason why there is up to 50% loam in certain spots around the hamlet. The soil is rich in limestone which pushes the vines to dig deep for water, which is a good thing.

The Wines of Montefioralle

I am going to begin with Montefioralle 2014 Vin Santo which is a blend of late harvest Trebbiano and Malvasia. This is a very special wine, a wine that takes 3 years to produce though 4 phases of production.

Phase 1 - Immediately after harvest the single bunches of grapes are hung up in aerated rooms where by January they will slowly become raisins. This allows to lose most of the water that had been filling the grapes and will increase the percentage of fruit-sugar.
Phase 2 - After more than three months, usually January, following a careful selection, the raisins are pressed. 
 Phase 3 The little amount of juice obtained will then be put in small barrels made out of cherry-wood (caratelli). They will be filled only up to 75%, and then sealed with cement. Therefore this will cause a slow fermentation in high pressure. Fermentation is a very difficult environment, in 3 years fermentation starts and stops several times. Only the strongest yeasts survive.
Phase 4 - The final result, after three years , is a sweet wine with a high alcohol content of approximately 16 degrees

The 2014 Vin Santo had raisiny aromas with hints of caramel. In the glass it’s a great sipping wine. At first the wine had some juicy red apple flavors that soon turned to prune and fig. This is a dessert style wine that I paired with Creme Brulee (my attempt of Creme Brulee) and it will also go well with blue cheese. The combo was like butter. The Vin Santo just melted right into the Creme Brulee and danced in your mouth and put a smile on my face. SRP $35

2015 Montefioralli Chianti Classico DOCG is made mostly from the Sangiovese grape with Canaiolo and Colorino added in small quantities. It is aged in oak for 12 months. Aromas of plum and red and black cherry leads to a palate of dark red fruit. SRP $19

2014 Montefioralli Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG is selected from the best grapes from the oldest vines. After malolactic fermentation the wine is aged for 24 months in oak barrels. Nice aromas of dry herbs, thyme plum and red raspberry lead way to a complex palate with nice acidity and flavors off blackberry, cherry, plum red fruit and hints of sour cherry. SRP $30

The Sieni family shares their memories with you.

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