~ Castello Colle Massari ~

The estate of Castello Colle Massari is situated at the foot of Mount Amiata, at approximately 320 meters above sea level and oriented towards the Meditteranean Sea. Extending some 1,200 hectares, about 110 hectares are devoted to vineyards, 60 to olive groves and 400 hectares of mixed crops. The remaining area is woodlands and the whole farm is surrounded by a protected state forest.

The Castello and its vineyards lie in the Montecucco DOC,  a small area nestled between Montalcino and Scansano.  In fact, only a narrow river separates the Brunello production zone from that of Montecucco and the areas largely share the same microclimate.  Many would be hard pressed to identify Montecucco on a map, let alone be familiar with its wines.  In fact, the zone only received DOC recognition in 1998 and Castello Colle Massari has only been producing wines since 2000.  

The Montecucco DOC relies mainly upon the production of two red wines;  Montecucco Rosso and Montecucco Rosso Riserva.   Both wines are based predominantly on Sangiovese, though the former requires 60% of the wine be Sangiovese while the latter mandates at least 80%.   Aging also varies, with the Riserva requiring at least 24 months prior to release.  

Castello Colle Massari is the unquestioned leader in the DOC.  The brother and sister team of Claudio and Maria Tipa have realized their dream for making quality wines in this region and have now expanded that dream via the purchases of the estates Grattamacco (2002) in nearby Maremma and Poggio di Sotto (2011) in nearby Montalcino.  Not ignoring their roots, the team have also built a state of the art wine cellar under the Castello that has been partially carved from the terrain.  

~ The new wine cellars at Castello Colle Massari ~

Today we’re focusing on the estate’s workhorse red,  the 2012 Montecucco Rosso Riserva.  This lovely rosso is  80% Sangiovese, 10% Ciliegiolo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Vinified in stainless steel, it then ages in a combination of barrique and tonneaux for 18 months, 50% of which are new and 50% that have seen their 2nd and 3rd passage.  Refined in bottle for at least 12 months prior to release,  the aging at Castello Colle Massari goes beyond the required 24 months if warranted by the vintage. 
The 2012 is a striking, bright violet color with intense aromas of flowers, crushed wild cherry, new leather, spice and roasted espresso notes.  I find the aromatic profile of this wine to be utterly captivating.  On the palate, the wine is bright, fresh and lively with a ripe, medium bodied core of crushed red fruits, sweet pipe tobacco, balsamic notes and hints of fennel.  Well balanced, this has plenty of lively acidity and the finely knit tannins do not get in the way at all.  Enjoyable now or can be held in a cellar for 3-5 years.  While I don’t find this to be reminiscent of Brunello per se, this is a serious wine that can bridge the gap while the Brunello in your cellar ages.  Excellent value.  92 points, about $25-$30.
~ Lovely aromatics in this lively, juicy fresh red from Montecucco ~


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