2015 Castelgiocondo "Campo ai Sassi" Rosso di Montalcino (Previously $20)

SKU #1299729

The Frescobaldis are one of Tuscany’s oldest wine families. They are based in Rufina, just east of Florence, and they have wineries in multiple zones across Italy. While their family history is definitely rooted in Florence, their estate in Montalcino, Castello di Nipozzano, defined Chianti Rufina in the US for decades. They are practiced royals, elegant and well spoken, even when it comes to sotto-voce, but when they talk about Montalcino there’s always a twinkle in their eyes. The estate is on the west-south-west side of Montalcino.

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Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/22/2017 | Send Email
The 2015 vintage in Italy is pretty fabulous and in Montalcino it was really good: warm, dry, sunny and then a couple of late sprinkles to give the vines a bit of water (irrigation is not allowed in Montalcino). I was in Tuscany for the harvest that year and the weather was perfect. Although I didn’t taste at Castelgiocondo, from the properties where I did taste I could tell immediately that it was an exceptional vintage. The Castelgiocondo “Campo ai Sassi” Rosso di Montalcino (campo ai sassi means field of stones) comes from a series of vineyards planted in 1990 to 2000. The wine had 16 days of fermentation on the skins in stainless steel and then went into a mix of barrels — 80 and 100hl Slavonian oak barrels, and a sizable portion in used French oak barriques. The nose is plummy, with hints of chocolate and spice. On the palate the wine shows a supple richness backed up by some evident tannin. They suggest that you pair the Rosso di Montalcino with an egg-pasta dish such as pappardelle with a rabbit sauce, or in Montalcino the ubiquitous wild boar
Drink from 2017 to 2025

Additional Information:



- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world.


Specific Appellation:

Brunello di Montalcino

- Made from 100% Sangiovese grapes from a specific clone called "Brunello" in the town of Montalcino. Situated in the southwestern part of Tuscany the town of Montalcino sits on a ridge about 400 feet above the Eastern plain. This ridge divides the region into three diverse growing areas. The northeastern part produces wines with brighter fruit, more cherry and high tone notes and somewhat leaner body. The southeastern portion often referred to, as the "Golden Triangle" is the home of Biondi Santi, the family who invented Brunello and championed its production for half a century before anyone else. This region produces wines with rich body, deep ripe cherry to plum fruit with lots of earth and spice. The third portion is the southwesterly facing slope which is the warmest (hence the ripest grapes), consistently producing wines with more breadth and richness. At the turn of this century, there were more than 150 growers who produce the 233,000 cases annually from the 2863 acres inscribed to Brunello.