“Uccelliera is now without question one of the handful of top producers in Montalcino.” Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate, April 2010.

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is located south of Chianti, the region therefore is warmer and drier producing grapes that are riper, with higher alcohol. Montalcino is built around a large hill, with a higher altitude than Chianti and Bolgheri. This altitude produces smaller berries and therefore a reduced pulp to skin ratio, resulting in thicker grapes yielding higher concentration and tannins. Brunello di Montalcino has a different ageing requirement to Chianti DOCG, needing four years minimum aging, two of these in wood and four months in bottle. (We will follow this month with a full report on Brunello di Montalcino).

The leading producers of Montalcino are experiencing price increases, particularly as their top vintages like 2004 and 2006 have been awarded stellar scores. We have selected the great estate Uccelliera from the producer Andrea Cortonesi. The leading Uccelliera estate means bird house and is found on the warm southern Castelnuovo dell’Abate part of the Montalcino zone. Total production is small with only six hectares, equating to 1,500 cases made per year. All work is done by hand and they practice semi-organic methods, using lower doses of S02 and integrated insect and disease control. Their wine boast complex aromas of exotic spice, dark fruits and a powerful, yet velvety mouth-feel.