In 2006, Andrea Cortonesi put a lot of miles on his car. Already the founder and winemaker for his Uccelliera estate, he was also running back and forth constantly to shepherd his restaurant in Siena called Il Casato. It was in his capacity as restaurateur that the Voliero label was born. While researching the best possible local products for the Trattoria’s menu, a friend of his in Montalcino offered him grapes from his vineyard in the Canalicchio Cru to make a wine just for the restaurant. There was never enough Uccelliera wines to go around, so he graciously accepted the idea to produce a second label. Voila, Voliero!
While many other producers with excess demand would have simply have blended this extra fruit into their own wine to increase their flagship production, Andrea felt this would not only be dishonest, but also a disservice to his clients who have come to love Uccelliera for being 100% from Castelnuovo dell’Abate. Voliero, however, could be different. In keeping with the theme of the Uccelliera name, Andrea emblazoned the label with a feathered, flying woman. This is also a discreet, but apt reference to the higher altitude vineyards from which Voliero is sourced and on which I have opined before.
Before I go on, I came across an interesting quote from Andrea regarding the 2015 vintage and his Rosso di Montalcino generally. I thought I would share it because as you’ve seen from my many articles on 2015, the vintage is special and I found what Andrea had to say to be very interesting.
“I really shouldn’t have made a Rosso in this vintage! This wine is really Brunello. But in order to make the very best Brunello, I did declassify some fruit. It’s complex, with great tannic structure. It’s a wine for the cellar that will age effortlessly and give you beautiful results over time.”
We’ll wait for the 2015 Brunello impatiently, but for now… The 2016 Voliero Rosso di Montalcino is exquisite. A medium violet in color that is bright and reflective, the wine oozes freshness. On the nose, the wine is very aromatic with sensations of crushed wild berry, fresh notes of rose petal, lavender, sage and fennel. Remarkable. On the palate, the high-toned nature of the Sangiovese comes through in spades. Crushed red fruits are tinged with sandalwood, tobacco and fresh mushroom. Mouthwatering and juicy, the tannins are medium bodied and do not interfere in the least. This is gorgeous and worth stockpiling. 93 points. Shop around, the price will vary between $20-$25. Find this wine.