~ The Mocali Cellars are carved into the mountain ~

50 years ago, Ciacci Dino, the current owners Grandfather, created the Mocali Estate by planting grains and vineyards South West of Montalcino centro.  Amidst native pines, stately oaks and the rolling hills toward Mount Amiata, Mocali sits at 350 meters above sea level surrounded by ancient pine forests.  Covering 32 hectares, the estate has only 10 devoted to vineyards, one of which is the subject of this article.

Exploring the forest at Mocali, one wanders seemingly headed for nowhere.  Over paths beaten down by deer, wild boar and humanity, the dusty topography suddenly reveals a manicured vineyard tucked within the woods and bordered by the remnants of an ancient limestone kiln which sits in disrepair but somehow imposes a paternal, sentinel like presence.

~ Mocali’s vineyards are some of the lowest in the zone and sit approximately 300-350 meters above sea level ~

The Raunate Vineyard sits isolated, yet it is the jewel of Mocali’s estate.  In only the best vintages is fruit from this vineyard used to produce a single bottling and a Riserva.  With soils heavy in limestone, the dusty, powdery nature of the wine is uniquely different from the estates traditional Brunello.  In classic vintages, it’s worth seeking out.

The 2006 Mocali Vigna Raunate is  rich, deep looking ruby color with faint violet highlights.  Nothing here gives the impression that this wine is 11 years old.  The wine was decanted for only about 40 minutes and no sediment was observed.   As the wine opened, lovely aromas of chestnut, dried flower, crushed cherry and pine needles were very noticeable.  It’s very attractive to smell and “play” with in the glass as the aromas seemed to appear, then disappear.

On the palate, the wine displays a more mature flavor profile. Warm, reduced cherry flavors are accented by an almost bourbon like quality. The mid-palate is filled with dusty tannins and cypress notes while the finish picks up spice and anise overtones.  Mocali doesn’t make the most structured, long lived Brunello, but this is very interesting and a unique expression of the site.  Paired very well with roasted pork tenderloin coated with seasoned panko alongside wild mushrooms.  I used some fresh rosemary from my garden and that perhaps accented the pine like tones of the wine even further.  Drink now if you’re holding these.  I’m not sure they’ll improve further.  91 points.  Good value around $40 upon release.  Find this wine.

~ Raunate is aged 24 months in cement vats and 12 months in Oak Tonneaux ~

Buon fine settimana!

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