~ The entrance to Poggio Antico ~

At an average elevation of 480 metres above sea level, Poggio Antico’s vineyards are among the highest in the Brunello region. The lofty altitude, combined with the close proximity of the Mediterranean Sea, ensures there is always a steady breeze which reduces the dangers of mold and mildew in the vineyards.

The soil on the estate is rocky and calcerous, which makes for good drainage. Cover crops are used to aid moisture retention, increase biodiversity and regenerate the soil.  Since 2017, Poggio Antico has been certified organic.

~ Montalcino ~

The total estate comprises just about 200 hectares, with only 33 hectares under vine. Most of these plantings are Sangiovese, however as we see in today’s review there are small plantings of Cabernet and Petit Verdot.

2015 was an excellent year. It will go down as one of Tuscany’s best.  I and many others have written about the vintage extensively and there are so many more great wines from that year to be released. However, like many vintages that are the “year after”, they often get lost in the shadow of the predecessor’s greatness.   I am already beginning to sense that this will be true for 2016.  That’s usually good for savvy wine lovers because availability and bargains typically abound. Everything I have tasted thus far from 2016 – including Rosso di Montalcino, Chianti Classico and select samples of more substantial wines, indicates that 2016 is an excellent year in its own right. It should not be overlooked and today’s wine is one such example.

The 2016 Poggio Antico Lemartine is a gorgeous deep purple color that fades to a hint of violet at the rim of the bowl.  We brought the bottle to a local trattoria and so did not decant it.  It was expressive right from the uncorking.

Deep aromas of flowers, vanilla, black plums and sweet leather are plentiful and the wine appears to be dominated at this time by the French varietals in the blend.  On the palate, this is elegant, smooth and seamless with flavors of ripe, round black plum, vanilla, baking spices and cigar tobacco. Balanced and long, the acidity is very supple and the tannins very well integrated.  This is so silky now, I don’t see any reason not to enjoy it over the next 5-7 years.  92 points and a wonderful value around $24.  Find this wine.

~ Lemartine is a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet and 25% Petit Verdot. The Petit has clearly lent its dark color to this wine, which seems almost void of the 50% Sangiovese included at the moment. That’s not odd in my experience when wines of this blend are in their youth ~

It will be interesting to see if the Sangiovese in the wine asserts itself more as the wine ages past its 5th birthday.  I used to notice that trend in Castello Banfi’s Summus before that estate began tweaking the blend of that wine.


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