Founded in 1970 by Santi Mantengoli, the La Rasina estate was not unlike many neighboring properties dotting the rolling hills of Montalcino. The principal direction of the farm were staple crops like grains, cereals and wine that was consumed by the family and sold in bulk to locals that visited the estate.
In the early 1980’s, when Santi’s son Vasco adopted a more prominent role in the farms business, La Rasina laid plans to bottle wine commercially and in 1988, released it’s first Brunello. What a great vintage to debut!
Today, this tiny farm is certified bio-dynamic and self sustaining. La Rasina practices organic farming at every stage of production and they are creating wonderful Brunello. And what’s more, they’re doing it a very reasonable prices.
A recent dinner featuring sauteed broccoli rabe and cotolette di pollo, we opened the 2004 La Rasina Brunello “Il Divasco”. This is a single vineyard Brunello that proudly refers to the name of Santi’s son, “of Vasco”. It is not a Riserva bottling, although beginning in 2006, a Riserva from this vineyard is being produced.
In the glass, the wine is a dark, impenetrable violet color. The nose is effusive, with abundant aromas of blueberries, blackberries, flowers and toasted spices. The purity is rather astounding, though I think Brunello “purists” might be taken aback. The richness of the aromas carries through to the palate, which is full bodied and long. Sweet pipe tobacco flavors join the ample core of fruit and a finely knit cinnamon spice is present on the powdery finish. Delicate and nice.
Substantial tannins assert themselves more on the finish without food, but with the meal, they were not as significant. I tasted this wine back in 2012 and it’s coming along nicely, but as I wrote then, it needed cellar time – and I stand by that remark. This has more complexity to develop and I think it will. Really great value for what’s in the bottle. 92 points, about $40.
|~ La Rasina “Il Divasco” is a Single Vineyard Brunello ~|
January 7, 2014