Montiano Oxen

~ Heading the vineyards in Lazio is sometimes old school! ~

“It is from the wise interweaving between earth and wind, water and sun, people and ideas that a unique fabric is born.”

The Cotarella brothers know a little bit about making wine. One is the lead winemaker for Antinori and oversees the creation of wines like Tignanello, Solaia and Guado al Tasso. The other is one of the most sought after consultants in Italy and his guiding hand has touched wines from Piedmont to Sicily. It should therefore come as no surprise that their family winery, for which they both collaborate, routinely produces one of the best wines in Lazio.

The Falesco winery was founded in 1979 and the brothers wanted the cellars and the vineyards to be perfect before they started producing wines under their own label. So they waited until the time was right. That discerning measure of time? 10 years!

Sloping hillside vineyards of Montiano

~ The Falsesco estate vineyards are predominantly in the province of Lazio ~

Falesco is now approaching its 40th anniversary and today, the daughters of Renzo and Riccardo are playing a more prominent role in the winery operations as the third generation takes shape. Daughters Dominga, Marta and Enrica, are now driving the family’s philosophy.  In fact, the winery has recently re-branded itself.   The entry level wines are bottled under the “Falesco” name while the estate wines carry the “Famiglia Cotarella” branding.   The family has also expanded its holdings with the 2017 acquisition of the Le Macioche estate in Montalcino.

The Cotarella daughters of Montiano

~ The Cotarella daughters are now running the family winery ~

Recently we pulled an aged Montiano from the cellar.  Like its various vintage siblings, this is a Tre Bicchieri award winner.  The 2009 Falesco Montiano is 100%  Merlot.   At 11 years of age, it’s still a dark purple color.  We decanted the wine to remove a substantial coffee grind like sediment.

On the nose, the wine is redolent of black fruit aromas along with lavender, blue flowers, vanilla and ground coffee.  In the mouth, the flavors echo the nose with a round texture that is plump but with enough acidity to keep the wine fresh.  The long finish is tinged with cured meat and mint.  Montiano is fermented in stainless steel and then aged for 12 months in French barrique before release.  Despite its age, this has plenty of life left.  Drink now or over the next 3-4 years.  93 points.  Find this wine.

Bottle of Montiano Merlot

~ The 2009 has matured into a velvety, viscous and plump Merlot ~

For Montiano data points, see these links: 2003, 2007, and 2011.

With this Lazio wine, we served a Roman staple: Carbonara!   The smokey notes of the guanciale played very well against this silky Merlot.

~ Carbonara is the perfect Roman pasta ~


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