Region: Tuscany, Montalcino
Terroir: 24-26 year old vines; medium-grain soil, marl; 240-360 m
Winemaking: aged approx. 3 years in 20-62 hl Slavonian oak barrels; stainless steel vats 10 months before bottling; fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel and glass concrete vats; aged in bottles for at least additional 8 months
Ciacci Piccolomini is one of the most sought-after producers in all of Italy. This ancient estate has 35 hectares of superior holdings in the prized Castelnuovo dell’Abate zone, including the ‘Pianrosso’ vineyard (meaning ‘red field,’ a reference to the iron rich soils) and the ‘Fonte’ vineyard, which produces grapes for the Rosso di Montalcino.
Plantings of Syrah, Cabernet, and Merlot are to the south, where the Orcia river provides a milder microclimate. The non-traditional wines are as exciting as the Brunello and Rosso: ‘Ateo,’ which means ‘atheist,’ is a statement against the restrictive laws that govern winemaking in Italy; the wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 100% Syrah ‘Fabius’ is one of the greatest expressions of that variety in Italy and Parker once called it “the finest Italian Syrah I have tasted.” The estate is a member of the EU ‘Lotta Integrata’ movement, which promotes reduced use of chemicals and organic viticulture; at Ciacci, fertilization is organic, and pruning and harvest are done by hand. -Skurnik