~ Terraced vineyards like these at Lamole di Lamole are dotted across Greve, where the locals call them Carbonaione ~

Podere Poggio Scalette became an autonomous wine-producing estate in 1991 when noted wine consultant Vittorio Fiore and his wife Adriana acquired several plots of land in the commune of Greve.

The vineyards lie on terraced slopes, called “Il Carbonaione” by the local peasants and were among the first vineyards planted immediately after World War I.  Today, at over 80 years of age, they are producing incredible grapes with intensity and character.   The estate is run by Adriana and her son Jurij,  while Vittorio casts a watchful eye for oversight.


~ Carbonaione 2015 has impressed me from the start and this tasting did nothing to change that. I think it’s at peak right now ~

The 2015 Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione suffers from nothing other than a superfluous number of words in its name.  The wine continues to pour a deep, ruby to purple color and the nose is simply explosive with black cherry, blue flowers, hints of vanilla and sweet tobacco. It’s expressive straight from the bottle.

On the palate this is nothing short of gorgeous.  Full bodied black cherry and wild berry fruit is juicy, fresh and lively.  Backed by tobacco, flinty minerality and toasted spices, this mono-varietal Super Tuscan lives up to the term in every sense.  It may be the best wine I’ve ever had from Greve and it hasn’t budged since my original tasting.  98 points.  Find this wine.

Maybe the 2016 will grow into this?  It’s not there yet, but here’s hoping.


~ Montalcino as seen from the ramparts of the Fortezza ~

Salicutti is an interesting story. The name comes from a stream that marks the boundary of the estate’s southern border. Founded in 1990 by Francesco Leanza, the estate was recently purchased by the Eichbauers, long time customers of Leanza who own a Michelin starred restaurant in Munich.

The estate is comprised of three vineyards: Piaggione, Teatro and Sorgente. Traditionally Brunello came from the first two vineyards while Sorgente was used only for Rosso di Montalcino. Beginning with the 2015 vintage, the Eichbauers decided to bottle only 3 separate Brunello. Rosso di Montalcino will be discontinued after the 2018 vintage.  The estate comprises only 11 hectares.

The 2015 Salicutti Brunello “Piaggione” is as spectacular now as it was during my 2015 Brunello coverage.    Deep garnet in the glass, the wine has highlights that trend to ruby and sunburst.  On the nose, the aromas are penetrating and concise.  Red cherry, orange blossom, tobacco and baking spices are absolutely gorgeous.

On the palate, this is so elegant and graceful.  Wonderfully ripe, perfumed cherry fruit glide and coat your entire palate. Juicy, fresh and spicy – this has wonderful sapidity.  Sweet herbs, tobacco and cocoa dust round out the package.  The tannins are there, but they are so intricately woven as to seem invisible. It’s hard not to drink this now.  I would.  97 points.  Find this wine.

~ Piaggione is a gorgeous, elegant Brunello ~

If you have either of these wonderful wines in your cellar, now is the time to try one.  It’s worth nothing that neither of them were decanted.  They both drank well straight from the bottle though the Brunello was throwing a significant sediment.



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