Montecucco represents a hidden treasure for wine lovers looking for high quality at accessible prices. The wines are a fresh way to explore the Sangiovese grape variety.
Montecucco is a magical wine region nestled between Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano appellations in the Tuscan Maremma. The Montecucco wine region stands out as a model of sustainable viticulture and biodiversity.
Set in an enchanting landscape, Montecucco is surrounded by beautiful and skillfully preserved ancient villages, typical of the inland Maremma hill region. The landscape is marked with houses perched one atop the other, stately aristocratic palaces, historic homes, castles, narrow alleyways, ancient wine cellars and churches filled with works of art. Flavor, aromas, and colors come back to life along the narrow streets of these villages where time has not tarnished the beauty and authenticity of the place.
The wine region spans the inner, rolling hills to the volcanic slopes of Mount Amiata, bordering on Montalcino and encompassing a topography and climate that provide for a variety of terroirs for diverse styles in its wines. The proximity of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the sheltering effect of Mount Amiata, and the diurnal temperature variation contribute to the ideal climate for grape-growing.
The vineyards are at 500 to 1300 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mount Amiata. Bright sunlight, cool breezes, the right amount of winter precipitation + warm summer sun, provide the ideal diurnal temperature variation. The hilly Montecucco territory and diurnal temperature range contribute to give the grapes great aromatic complexity.
Mount Amiata is an extinct volcano, as evidenced by its shape and deep underground activity. The soils are rich in lava composites, giving the vines a mineral characteristic and taste. The mineral soils guarantee an important, natural equilibrium for the vineyards.
“Green” has been in vogue for a while now, but Montecucco has found itself to be quietly trending and in tune with what environmentally-conscious consumers are looking for. Around 70% of Montecucco‘s production is certified organic and the landscape of the region gives the first hint of sustainability-oriented winemaking: vineyards don’t prevail over other types of agriculture. Instead, forest, olive trees, fruit trees, and livestock play an important role in preserving the biodiversity of the land. Not only are the winemakers in Montecucco producing wine, but they are also farmers, who feel deeply connected to their land and treat it with love and respect.
The Sangiovese grape is the most important variety of Montecucco and is used to make Montecucco’s red wines. The production of the region’s main wines, Montecucco Rosso DOC (SRP $20) and Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG (SRP $20-$40), emphasize artisan production from small, family-owned wineries and boast one of the lowest grape yields in all of Italy at 7,000 kg per hectare. Montecucco represents a hidden treasure for consumers looking for sustainable high quality at accessible prices and a fresh way to explore this expression of the Sangiovese grape. The wines have hints of dark fruits, tobacco, vanilla, prominent but elegant tannins, dark fruity notes, and a persistent finish.
Tasting The Incredible Wines
2015 Parmoleto Montecucco Sangiovese Riserva is one of the stellar wines of this region. Made in limited quantities – only 3,000 cases. Notes of plum violets and clove. The palate has red fruit, peppers and hints of coffee and cocoa. Fine tannins coat the mouth and leave a nice long lingering finish.
2015 Maciarine Montecucco Sangiovese is a gem. Intense notes of ripe red fruit, raspberry, pomegranate, berries, balsamic and sweet spices. A perfect pairing with roasted and braised red meats and aged cheeses.