Grape vines

~ The view over Terralsole’s vineyards & across the valley is awe inspiring ~

2008, the forgotten vintage. But should it be?

Back in 2013, when I published my Comprehensive Report on the 2008 Brunello vintage I made the following remarks.

  • The 2008’s tasted for this report were very nice wines.  They are elegant, in a delicate feminine manner.  They are highly aromatic and have pleasing, mouth watering acidity. However, they lacked the power or masculinity of the aforementioned (2006/2007) vintages. Many of the wines seemingly display no tannic structure to their texture. They are wines that will be best suited for near term consumption over the next 3 to 5 years.  And….
  • The 2008’s greatest attribute seems to be the heightened floral aromatics of the Sangiovese and the freshness of the grapes natural acidity which provide the wines with a vivacious “lift” on the palate.  They are fresh, graceful and elegant Brunellos and there was not a single wine tasted that I thought required cellaring to show its best.

At this juncture, now that these wines are 10+ years old, I must say that I stand by my assessment except for the notion that the wines were best suited for near term consumption. While the wines did charm early, the examples I’ve had recently are just as fresh, aromatic, elegant and juicy as they were upon release.  2008 has become one of my favorite vintages and the subject of today’s article reinforces that all the more.

Grape Vines and Vineyards

~ Many of Terralsole’s vineyards are surrounded by woods and form a sort of oasis within the forest. The woods help protect the vines from damaging winds and even frosts ~

Terralsole is a small family run winery.  Established in 1996, it is the inspiration of veteran winemaker Mario Bollag and his wife Athena Tergis, two artists who combined their love of visual arts and music with their passion for winemaking.

Terralsole’s 12 hectares (30 acres) of vineyards combine two distinctive terroirs in Montalcino to create full bodied, balanced wines. The Pian Bossolino vineyard surrounds the winery and Villa Terralsole. It sits at 1,200 feet on the southeastern slope of Montalcino, enjoying cooler weather and excellent ventilation.

The vineyards of Fonte Lattaia sit lower at 750 feet. It’s unique terroir of marine deposits and clay maintain balance amid the warm, dry climate of Montalcino’s southwestern slope.

A winery

~ Stainless Steel tanks inside the Terralsole Winery, Montalcino ~

The Legend of Fonte Lattaia

Wines tell a story and the legend of Fonte Lattaia is a compelling yarn. The name of the vineyard loosely translates to “milk spring” because it sits near the site of an ancient spring.  Legend says that expectant mothers used to travel to the Spring and drink the waters so that they would become fertile and able to breast feed.

Facing southwest and sitting at 750 feet, the vineyard borders the road that links the Romanesque Abbey of Sant’Antimo, to the hamlet of Sant’Angelo in Colle. Its unique terroir of marine deposits and clay help the vines maintain a balance amid the warmer, dry climate.  Sangiovese here is rich, stately and strong; just like the inspiring 9th-century abbey of Sant’Antimo.


~ The famed Abbey at Sant’Antimo ~

The 2008 Terralsole Brunello Fonte Lattaia is an utterly amazing wine.  The first ever single vineyard release from this vineyard, the aromatics and elegance displayed by this Brunello are captivating.

Deep garnet in color, it looks like it could be a current release.  The aromatics are explosive and feature crushed wild cherry, pulverized stone, cigar tobacco and spices that combine in amazing harmony.  On the palate, the core of wild berry flavors are concentrated, ripe and incredibly fresh.  The wine dances on your palate with grace and elegance. Flavors echo the nose with mouth watering sapidity and a long, juicy finish.  It compels sip after sip.  A stunning contemplative wine that leaves its mark. 95 points.  One of the best 2008s I’ve had.  Available from the winery.

~ The 2008 Fonte Lattaia was served along Gallo Mattone, sauteed rainbow chard, truffled gnocchi and a garden fresh tomato, cucumber and basil salad. Al fresco, it was an evening to remember ~

There will be much more coming from my recent Tour and Tasting at Terralsole, so stay tuned.



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