~ The vineyards at Casa Raia are hand curated ~

Casa Raia sits on a promontory beneath the famed medieval town of Montalcino. The estate once belonged to the patriarchal family of Brunello di Montalcino; Biondi Santi. In 1997, the abandoned farm house was lovingly restored and named Casa Raia after the matriarch of the new family owners, Raissa Temertey.

Today, the current owners Pierre Jean Monnoyer and his wife Kalyna have restored the vineyards with unyielding respect for the land that so generously nurtures the wines to be.   They firmly believe in the notion that the “vine makes the wine” and so with every step in the process, painstaking effort is taken to be non-interventionist. Quantity is sacrificed for quality.  Organic methods are followed.  Pruning takes place according to the cycles of the moon.  The natural amphitheater that is formed by Mount Amiata and the hills of Montalcino protect Casa Raia’s oasis and provides an optimal environment for the vines to flourish.

~ Casa Raia, Montalcino ~

The last time we covered Casa Raia, it was to debut their wonderful 2010 Brunello which was one of the best wines in our report.  Today we are reviewing their newest release of their IGT wine, Bevilo.

The 2012 Casa Raia Bevilo is a stylish blend of Sangiovese Grosso, Merlot and Cabernet from vines that were planted in 1975.   Purchased at a local restaurant, I took a chance on this wine knowing that the vintage fared well in Montalcino and knowing the quality of the producer.  Frankly, I wonder what a lesser observer may have thought about seeing this wine on the list, but – as has been said by Kings and Queens – I am not a lesser observer.   I was richly rewarded for the selection.

Dark garnet in color, the wine is clearly impacted by the French varietals in the blend.  However, as I tweeted while drinking it, the Sangiovese component in the wine was obvious.   On the nose, the wine is plentiful with crushed cherry, turned earth, tobacco and dark chocolate powder.  On the palate, the wine is equally impressive.  The Merlot lends a seductive feel to the wine and a plushness to the plum and cherry flavors that are well concentrated and ripe.  Sweet tobacco, light toast and fennel round out the package which is very well done.  Would happily but this again off the list or for my cellar.  93 points.  About $40 retail.  Finding it will be the tricky part. Casa Raia does not have broad US importation.  Find this wine.

~ Bevilo is Sangiovese Grosso, Merlot and Cabernet and is aged 2 years in French Oak before release ~


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