This past holiday season was a bit of whirl wind for me. It was filled with great wine, fun tastings, dinners, friends and family. I took some time off from writing and just sat back and enjoyed it all. Now that the new year is here I would like to get back on track to sharing our wonderful wine experiences from last fall’s Italian vacation. You will recall that though we spent much of our time enjoying more tourist style activities we took a few days to visit a handful of outstanding Tuscan wineries. I shared with you our wonderful visits to Avignonesi in my article “Here Comes the Sun at Avignonesi Winery,” and our visit to Boscarelli in my article “Boscarelli: Quietly Crafting Outstanding Wine.” Both of these wineries are in Montepulciano, producing outstanding Vino Nobiles, IGTs, Vin Santos and more. Today we move to Montalcino, the land of Brunello, to wine and dine at Poggio Antico.
Poggio Antico: a combination of people, love for nature and passion for winemaking in the beautiful landscape of Tuscany.
Poggio Antico is a perineal award winning winery. The estate dates back to the early 19th century. The modern structure of vineyards and wine cellars were built in the 1970’s. In 1984 Giancarlo and Nuccia Gloder’s love for the winery and their wines led them to purchase it. Since 1987, Giancarlo and Nuccia’s daughter Paola and her husband Alberto have run Poggio Antico. The estate itself includes about 200 hectares of picturesque woods, fields, olive groves and vineyards. It is located at 450 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest elevations in Montalcino. This location is significant to their outstanding wines because the steady breeze at this altitude sweeps away the morning and evening fog, helps prevent early frosts, and dries the grapes quickly after rain. Furthermore, the south and southwest facing vineyards provides optimal sun exposure, guaranteeing optimal growing conditions. If that was not enough the soil in the area is calcareous and rocky, ensuring perfect draining.
From the start our objective has been high quality, combined with a first class service and great attention to detail. Passion for nature, hard manual work in the vineyards, extremely low yields, modern technology in the cellar and a lot of patience come together to produce [our] wines.
My husband and I enjoyed an educational tour of Poggio Antico’s facility. After our tour we sampled these wines:
Rosso di Montalcino DOC 2013: 100% Sangiovese; light ruby; fresh ripe red berries and floral notes; fresh and light, warm, round on the palate with balanced acidity and soft tannins; medium body, pleasing finish; Poggio Antico only singles out grapes at harvest for their Riserva, therefore the grapes selected for the Rosso are the same quality as their Brunello and Altero. 18€
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008: 100% Sangiovese; intense ruby; black berries, black cherries, licorice and spice notes; elegant structure, clean, well-balanced, round acidity, delicate tannins, beautifully refined and harmonious; 3 years aging in Slovenian oak casks, 1 year bottle aging. 39€
Altero Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008: 100% Sangiovese; a modern approach to Brunello; concentrated ruby with scarlet highlights; cherry, black raspberry, spice notes; similar body to 08 Brunello but different flavor; very fruit forward but not juicy, rather elegant and understatedly sophisticated; perfect structure; aged for 2 years in 500-liter tonneaux of French oak followed by 2 more years of bottle aging; classy, modern, lovely 42€
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2006: 100% Sangiovese; only made from exceptional vintages; intense ruby with violet highlights; black berries, cherries, black raspberries, blueberries, spice notes; toasted cedar, espresso; velvet mouth-feel; rich structure due to round tannins and voluptuous yet integrated tannins; complex layered wine with a long, pleasing finish; first year of aging in 500-liter French tonneaux, remaining 2 ½ years of aging in new Slovenian oak barrels, finally bottle aged for an additional 1 ½ years before release. WOW! 57€
Madre IGT Toscana 2006: 50% Sangiovese, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon; garnet with violet highlights; black cherries, black berries, raspberries, pepper, spice notes, toasty leather, mocha; elegant, soft and smooth like silk on the palate; well-structured with round acidity and integrated tannins, fully, body, concentrated, long finish; varietals aged separately for 18 months in 500-liter French tonneaux followed by bottle blending then another year of aging before release. 33€
Lemartine IGT Toscana 2012: 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Petite Verdot; rich notes of red and black wild berries, plums and pomegranates integrate with spice notes, espresso, floral notes, and black pepper; hearty and rich wine, well-structured, round acidity and persistent tannins result in a rich mouth-feel and lingering finish; varietals refined separately in French oak barriques for 8 months, blending in the bottle then aged another 4 months before release. 22€
Each of these wines were stunningly delicious and crafted of the highest quality! After we made a substantial purchase of wine to ship back to the US (yes, Poggio Antico ships direct to your house and great shipping rates), Poggio Antico set us up with a fabulous lunch at their highly sought after Ristorante di Poggio Antico. Our meal was relaxing and delicious. The setting was gorgeous, the staff was very friendly, attentive but not over-bearing, and the food was amazing. We chose to enjoy a bottle of the Poggio Antico 2010 Altero Brunello di Montalcino DOCG with our lunch. Seriously, who could pass up drinking all the 2010 Brunellos we could hold while in Italy! I chose the chef’s four course lunch. I did not write down the names of the dishes because I was in food heaven and just savoring each bite; however, you can see from the pictures lunch was incredible.
I cannot express enough how much my husband and I enjoyed our day at Poggio Antico. We arrived at 11am and left at 3pm! The staff was courteous and knowledgeable, the wines were truly first class, the food was outstanding and the property is simply beautiful. I strongly encourage you to visit the Poggio Antico web site to learn more about the winery and restaurant, view their entire portfolio of wines and order some for yourself. Furthermore, Poggio Antico award winning wines are also distributed throughout the US and Europe so ask your favorite local wine retailer about Poggio Antico.
My Song Selection: This beautiful song not only brings all the feelings and emotions of Tuscany alive but exemplifies our full sensory experience at Poggio Antico. Enjoy!
Get your own bottles of Poggio Antico and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!