Pian dell’ Orino Rosso di Montalcino 2010
Rosso di Montalcino is one of my favourite wines. The bright, bitter cherry fruit, clean, long flavours, texture and acidity, make the best RdM’s a favourite accompaniment for one of the world’s greatest foods: tomatoes.
Sangiovese requires restraint and its rusticity must be both tamed and embraced. Clean winemaking is a must. The brettanomyces that plague lesser Chiantis should never show up as it completely obscures the grape’s fruit. New oak is also anathema. Sangiovese does not respond well to the textural and flavour manipulation of barrique, particularly the young vine Sangiovese used in most Rosso di Montalcino.
But there’s also no need to draw a line in the sand. Both ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ approaches to Sangiovese can work wonders. It’s not just about long macerations and the size of your botti (though relevant). It’s the accumulation of long knowledge that understands when the coddling and drawing forth of the wine creates a patina from which the variety’s true self cannot escape. Sangiovese can be raised but it cannot be ‘made’.
This wine is, frankly, awesome. Perhaps the most sophisticated Rosso di Montalcino I’ve tasted, this is supremely elegant wine. Though not ethereal like the Poggio di Sotto, the Orino is amongst the most thoughtfully raised Rosso’s out there, and a stunning example of what’s possible with this underrated DOC (no G).
Excellent to Excellent+
~$80 at Kits Wine