Rocca Di Montegrossi – New Releases
Life always seems better when I have some of Marco Ricasoli’s wines to hand. They are never less than good, usually exceptional, always go well with a meal and I never tire of going back to them. Top-quality Chianti has a delicacy and finesse that one finds nowhere else at a comparable price, as well as a personality all of its own. The Sangiovese grape that makes up the majority of Chianti is thin-skinned, so the colour of a true Chianti is a light, ruby red with hints of orange. In the hands of producers like Montegrossi, it is like the essence of Italy, with aromas of cherries, dried herbs, warm earth and a touch of tobacco, the acidity is bright and the tannins fine and ripe. Too many people still equate Chianti with the uniformly bland, commercial bottlings that flood cheap Italian restaurants all around the world, but the flip-side of this is that the extremely fine wines remain excellent value. They are also very versatile with food, and few wines are as well matched, for instance, to a tomato-based ragù.
I first met the charming, determined Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi in 2000, shortly after he had finished the restoration and modernisation of the winery. He is a descendant of the historic wine-making family that can be credited with having put Chianti on the map, and Marco very much sees his destiny as taking Chianti, in its purest form, to as high a level as can possibly be attained – to my mind this level has, surely, been reached, but Marco continues to fine tune in his aim for perfection. Rocca di Montegrossi itself is located in the heart of Chianti Classico, just outside Monti in Chianti near the beautiful Romanesque Church of San Marcellino, and the estate covers about 60 hectares, a third of which is vineyard, another third olive groves, and the remainder woodland. The south and south-west facing, limestone-based vineyards are situated on gently sloping hills at a height of between 300 and 450 metres, so essential for cooling breezes as well as providing outstanding views. This is unquestionably one of Tuscany’s greatest estates and their Chianti Classico is simply one of the finest that money can buy.
The wines will be arriving in two to three weeks. Price is GBP per case size 6 x 75cl inclusive of VAT (wine will also be available under bond).
10% Discount on 24 bottles or more (may be mixed). All wines offered subject to remaining available.
2020 Rosato – £113.70
This is one of the finest Rosatos in Italy; it’s fabulous now and will certainly age well. This is for meals, casual or serious – the beautifully pure Sangiovese fruit is backed up by good acidity; try with a wide range of dishes from, say, salmon pasta to grilled meats and mature cheese. This is a useful wine to have in the cellar at any time of the year – to paraphrase, this Rosato isn’t just for summer…
The 2020 Rosato Toscana is a vibrant pink color, with a display of sweet melon and spring flowers offset by a twang of zesty citrus and flint. It’s silky-smooth, balancing a pleasant inner sweetness with brisk acids as notes of young strawberry and cherry cascade across the palate. This tapers off with admirable length, but it’s also completely refreshing, as red fruits slowly fade under an air of rosy florals. Rocca di Montegrossi really nailed it with this varietal Sangiovese Rosato. Well done.
Vinous 92 pts Drinking window: 2021 – 2022 Vinous . Tasting date: May 2021
2018 Chianti Classico – £131.70
After a tricky 2017, 2018 must’ve seemed like a relatively easy ride, although not without its own troubles. A warm spring led to an early bud break but May brought above average rainfall. From early June onwards, it was a warm, fairly dry summer – some areas were hit by hail but, by and large, it was a pretty straight forward summer in Chianti. The grapes ripened evenly and slowly, and the warm day/cool night temperatures in September allowed the grapes to ripen fully, the harvest starting mid-September and finishing mid-October. It’s an exception vintage, could be another 2016.
The 2018 Chianti Classico opens with a burst of sweet red berry fruit, spice and wild flowers. Exuberant and racy, the 2018 is endowed with tremendous energy and tons of personality. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s inner sweetness and radiance, with a closing flourish of red flowers. This is a fabulous wine for the money. Don’t miss it.
Vinous 93 pts Rocca di Montegrossi Drinking window: 2022 – 2038
2016 Geremia – £270
Marco’s ‘Super-Tuscan’ is a Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon blend called ‘Geremia’, and it’s a masterpiece – the balance between elegance and power is exquisite and the quality of the 2016 fruit shines through. It is quite irresistable andprobably the best value Super-Tuscan money can buy.
The 2016 Geremia is a total knock-out. An exotic mélange of sweet dark cherry, plum, chocolate, licorice, spice and menthol races out of the glass. The 2016 is deep, dense and full of character. It is also easy to drink with minimal cellaring. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon work so well here in the way they express richness and structure, all with a real sense of Tuscan raw power.
Vinous 95 pts Drinking window: 2024 – 2036 Antonio Galloni. Tasting date: August 2020
Olive Oil – 113.70 (no VAT)
Marco’s Olive oil is one of the finest in Italy – there is very little. Only available with an order of wine.
Mixed Summer Case Offer
including delivery within England, deliveries outside England charged at cost.
Case 1 – £215
3 bottles Chateau Routas Provence Rosé
3 bottles 2019 Sancerre Rosé, Berthier
3 bottles 2019 Terlaner Cuvee, Cantina Terlano
3 bottles 2019 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Stanley Estate
Case 2 – £195
4 bottles Chateau Routas Provence Rosé
4 bottle 2018 Quincy, Domaine de Chevilly
4 bottles 2019 Fleurie, Domaine de la Madonne