Monteraponi is a tiny enclave that lies just west of the commune Radda in Chianti.
Dating back to the 10th Century, the estate resembles a small Burgundian Monopole. Acquired in the 1970s by the current owner’s Father, Michele Braganti has helmed the estate since the late 1970s. His tireless work has brought Monteraponi to greatness and his insistence on organic, natural and traditional wine-making is the fundamental philosophy that guides him.
Although the property is approximately 200 hectares, a scant 10 are devoted to vineyards. Braganti is artisan. Unfortunately, as a result of this commitment, his wines are often difficult to locate. However, they are worth the search. It’s no surprise that I haven’t published a data point on the winery since 2017.
As I mentioned, Monteraponi is certified organic. It’s that sort of quality commitment and dedication to principle that keeps Michele Braganti passionate and focused. Traditional wine-making methods win out. In fact, in light of the subject of this article, I am always reminded of what he told me in 2017: “Giovannni, my focus is to keep tradition and respect the area and the grapes in order to show their real potential. Chianti Classico cannot be Classico anymore if you blend it with international grapes.”
The 2018 Monteraponi Chianti Classico is 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo. The wine is vinified in concrete vats and left on the skins for at least 25 days. Thereafter, it is transferred to large French and Slavonian barrels for up to 16 months. The wine is then transferred back to concrete where it rests for a month before being bottle under the waning moon.
Medium violet in the glass, the nose is redolent of crushed berry, bright floral notes and hints of cured meats. On the palate, the wine is juicy and fresh. Medium bodied with bright flavors of cherry, smoked meat and dried herbs. The texture of the wine is laced with dusty minerals and the bright acidity imparts a mouthwatering character that cleanses the palate. Quite simply, this is the best wine I’ve tasted from the disappointing 2018 vintage. It’s something I’d definitely buy again. Monteraponi have bounced around importers and have recently settled with Grand Cru Selections. Hopefully this raises their profile. Good value around $25. 91 points. Find this wine.
Need a pairing suggestion? We enjoyed this thoroughly with a comforting risotto that was delicious and healthier than you might think. I wilted down some organic baby kale and tossed some roasted chicken sausages with kale into the risotto.