~ Villa Montemaggio – Radda in Chianti ~

The Monte Maggio Estate is located in the Commune of Radda in Chianti in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. It is situated where a 14th century tower once stood above an old Roman road that traversed the hills between Siena and Florence. The name Montemaggio derives from “Monte Maggiore” (Big Mountain) which alludes to its elevated location just north of Radda. 

The estate, which is a member of the Consortium of Chianti Classico, extends over an area of 70 hectares (about 190 acres) of vineyards, olive groves and woods; it is situated at 600 meters above sea level. The vineyards which extend approximately 9 hectares (22 acres) occupy a central position on the estate with prime south-west exposure in soils rich in galestro and alberese. Almost entirely planted to Sangiovese, small portions of Merlot, Pugnitello and Chardonnay are also cultivated. 

~ Summer harvest formed part of the pairing for today’s subject wine ~

Today the estate is primarily run by Francesco Migliori who joined Monte Maggio in 2008.  Francesco devotes much of his time to vineyard and cellar management.  He joins Ilaria Anichini who is the agronomist and estate manager.  Although Ilaria devotes much of her time to grape growing and winemaking, she will also dabble in the occasional marketing of the firm.  She has been with Monte Maggio since 2005.  Finally, the consulting winemaker is Andrea Paoletti, who cut his teeth making wines for Antinori.  The estate is fully organic, and produces its wines with painstaking attention to detail and quality. All facets of production are carried out by hand.

~ Hillside Vineyards at Monte Maggio ~

I first wrote about Monte Maggio as part of my Comprehensive Current Chianti Report and was very impressed with their entry level Classico.  Today, we’re focusing on one of their IGT wines. 
The 2010 Torre di Monte Maggio immediately piqued my curiosity and raised my level of excitement.  It’s 100% Merlot and when grown in the galestro of Tuscany,  Merlot really touches my senses.  Torre is fermented in stainless steel or concrete and then is transferred to 2-3 year old French barrique where it refines for 15-18 months prior to release. 

~ Orecchiete with a Short Rib Ragu completed the pairing ~

The 2010 is a deep ruby red with darker highlights that trend toward purple. We decanted the wine for about 40 minutes prior to dinner and that may not have been enough.   The aromas from the wine speak of Merlot with precision.  The dark berry notes display an undertone of brush, pine and mint that are backed by a soft whiff of cedar.  
On the palate, the wine is structured and austere.  It has a fairly large framed tannic backbone that surprised me slightly.  The mineral component that is a hallmark of the Radda terroir is noticeable and I really enjoy that.  However, the berry flavors in the wine are somewhat angular; linear, and seem to be lacking the smooth, velvety, plushness that I’d like to see in pure Tuscan Merlot.  Could it be the structured 2010 vintage? Maybe.  Perhaps with a year or two in the cellar this will flesh out more but I’m not certain. A tasty wine, but falls short of the next level at the moment.  88 points.  About $23.  Disclosure: This bottle was a producer provided sample.

~ Toree is 100% Merlot ~


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