Named after a 12th Century bandit that led the people of Montalcino against the ruthless oppressors from Siena, Ugolforte is the flag bearer for Tenuta San Giorgio. 
Situated not far from the symbolic Abbey at Sant’Antimo, Tenuta San Giorgio is perched at 350-400 meters above sea level near the town of Castelnuovo dell’Abate. The estate vineyards soil conditions range from clay, to chalk and loam and this “essence from ancient seabeds” lends a distinct minerality to the wines.   

First tasted at Benvenuto Brunello, and then again in my Comprehensive Report on the 2009s,  Ugolforte always felt like it was holding something back.  My notes last year indicated that I that it was “understated”.   Ugolforte is coming into form.

The 2009 Tenuta San Giorgio Brunello Ugolforte is aged for one year in French barrique, 50% of which are new and 50% of which are one vintage old.  The balance of the oak aging takes place in large Slavonian botte.  The resulting wine retains much of its delicate mineral and floral components that might otherwise be compromised by more aggressive wood treatment.
Ugolforte is lightly colored – it always has been – but don’t let that imply that the wine is light bodied.  The medium violet tones lead to a lighter, slightly orange hue at the rim of the bowl.   The aromas are very pretty and becoming more pronounced.  Crushed cherry, soft tobacco, and unworn leather shoes still in the box lead the way.   

On the palate, the wine is elegant with lots of dusty dirt, mineral, shale, and berry character.  It’s medium to full bodied with a warm, spicy finish amidst black pepper notes and while it’s not the best Brunello you’ll ever drink, it’s becoming much more intriguing with some bottle age.  90 points, about $50 retail.   Disclosure:  This bottle was a producer provided sample.
~ The color here is so deceiving ~
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