Podere Salicutti Brunello di Montalcino Piaggione 2016

95 Wine Advocate

"The Salicutti 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Piaggione draws its fruit from a small 1.2-hectare parcel that sits a little lower in altitude on this beautiful bijou estate. Piaggione is one of the historic single-vineyard wines made here, and its personality is generous, open knit and elegant. The oak is well integrated and the wine offers taut, fresh and pure fruit intensity. There are bright berry and sour cherry aromas with blue flower, rosemary and a touch of crushed stone. Production for this pretty wine is 7,760 bottles." -Monica Larner, Wine Advocate

$95.97

Description

Country: Italy

Region: Tuscany

Variety: Sangiovese

Terroir: Pioggione Vineyard; South and Southeast orientation; Sedimentary, calcareous and marl soils; 420-440 meters in altitude

Farming: Certified organic; Practicing biodynamic; Hand harvesting; Half of the vineyard planted in 1994, half planted in 2007

Winemaking: Fermented in stainless steel with ambient yeast. 12 day maceration on the skins; Aged 36 months in a mix of oak (5HL neutral Allier casks, 40HL Slavonian oak casks, 10-20 HL french barrels) and 18 months in the bottle.

"Podere Salicutti is gem of an estate located in the southeastern part of Montalcino. The winery has long been one of the leading figures in the burgeoning “Natural Wine” movement in the Brunello appellation. Until 2016 it was run meticulously by Francesco Leanza who left his career as a chemical engineer in Rome to dedicate himself full-time to Podere Salicutti in 1995. Leanza originally purchased the property in 1990 and immediately began reviving the olive grove and renovating the building on the estate. A few years later, he set out to revive the vineyards, which he began replanting in 1994. In 2016, Felix and Sabine Eichbauer purchased the estate from Francesco and with that purchase, Francesco agreed to continue to run the winery for a few years.

The entire Salicutti estate comprises 11 acres: just over four of which are planted to vine, one and half planted to olive tree, and the balance being the yard and forest. There are two main soil types at Salicutti, to the east where the Piaggione, Piaggione Alto and Teatro vineyards are located is mainly sedimentary rock – a soil called Albarese. To the west, where the Sorgente vineyard is located, is calcareous clay rock.

Piaggione, the vineyard just below the winery, was originally planted in 1994. Later part of it was replanted in 2012. Piaggione Alto is an extended part of the Piaggione hill that was planted in 2007 with guyot training.

The winery was the first in Montalcino to convert to organic viticulture (in 1996) and was certified by ICEA in 2004. The Eichbauer’s have, since their purchase, begun conversion to biodynamic farming.

Each year the winery produces a scant 2,500 cases of wine. Given the tiny production, Salicutti’s wines are sought after, and for good reason, they have the stuffing to develop with age in the cellar, though they have an elegance that makes them tempting to drink on release!" -Polaner Selctions

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