~ Castello di Montepo peers through the forest in Scansano ~

It’s not Montalcino, it’s Scansano.  It’s not Franco, but his son Jacopo.  And it’s not Brunello, but it is Sangiovese Grosso.  

Many a wine in Italy have tales rich in folklore.  Rumor, persistence, and conjecture abound as to the legends that create curses, names and reputations.  Whether it be Soffocone, Pecorino, or Scacciadiavoli, it’s never too hard to find an interesting tale. Today’s wine is no different.  

Sassoalloro takes it’s name from a gigantic boulder that dots the landscape at Jacopo Biondi Santi’s Castello di Montepo estate in Maremma.  Dating back centuries to the volcanic era,  the boulder is said to possess strange and lasting powers over those that appreciate it’s grandeur.  What those powers are remains a matter of some conjecture,  but I’m not one to tempt fate. 

~ Jacopo Biondi Santi ~

Today we begin with Part 1 on the lovely red wines of Castello di Montepo and start the series with the 100% Sangiovese Grosso, Sassoalloro.  Given the familial link to Montalcino, we can speculate about the origins of the Sangiovese Grosso vines planted in Scansano; another fact that only adds to the mystery of the rock!  However, there is no need to speculate about the quality in the bottle. 

The 2010 Jacopo Biondi Santi Sassoalloro is 100% Sangiovese Grosso sourced from Castello di Montepo’s sloping vineyards.  The estate comprises some 500 hectares, of which 60 are under vine and legend has it that it was from Montepo that Jacopo’s Grandfather registered the first clone of Sangiovese for Brunello.  

On request from the producer, we did not decant the wine, but opened it, poured a small amount, and left the bottle to rest for 3 hours.  In the glass,  the wine is a deep ruby to garnet color that is almost impenetrable. This young Sangiovese is brimming with aromas of fresh flowers, fresh sage, wild berries and tobacco leaf.  I love the aroma.  
On the palate, the wine is medium to full bodied with an elegant core of ripe berries and plum notes that are framed by Tuscan brush, freshly turned earth and slight toasted spice notes.  While hinting that this has more to give,  the tannins were very well integrated and the acids balanced and refreshing.  This is the best version of Sassoalloro I’ve ever tasted.   91 points and a very nice value at the SRP of about $30-$35.   Disclosure:  This bottle was a producer provided sample. 
~ Sassoalloro is 100% Sangiovese Grosso grown in Scansano.  The wine sees 12 months aging in French barrique prior to release ~

E vero!

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