2017 Montepeloso A Quo
2017 Montepeloso A Quo The wine, characterized by early accessibility, is made using grapes from the more recent plantings which already epitomize the distinctive qualities of Montepeloso. This is an attractive 2017 vintage. Blend: 30% Montepulciano, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 %Sangiovese, 10% Marselan, 10% Alicante
Suvereto, one of the warmer micro-climates on the Tuscan coast just south of Bolgheri, is an area that is relatively new to many. Despite its long winemaking and farming history going back as far as 1000 AD, the Suvereto DOC was only officially recognized in 2000. Set in the fertile Val di Cornia, clay soils and proximity to the sea give an intensity to the flavors, producing ripe and direct wines typically made from Cabernet, Merlot, and the local Sangiovese.
In 1998, Fabio Chiarelotto purchased Montepeloso, the estate was already well on its way to international stardom. However, Chiarelotto could have rested on that reputation, but he felt that the way the vines had been planted and trained, the site would never reach its full potential. And so he spent 8 years reshaping the vineyards. He retrained, pruned, and even re-grafted many vines, Fabio was committed to perfection, pulling up thousands of low quality vines and replacing them with varietals more suited to the windy warmth of Suvereto.
The terroir itself is extraordinary: hillsides around the town of Suvereto. The zone’s petrified clay soils, and its proximity to the sea, give a startling intensity of flavor to wines. It’s little wonder that a half dozen estates have sprung up over the past 20 years though, by contrast, most are planted in the heavier clays of the valley floor. His obsession is such that we find few others with which to compare him. But he perhaps most reminds us of the great Montalcino iconoclast Gianfranco Soldera.
This is a truly phenomenal red wine at the price point. This tremendous property that lies just above the famous Tua Rita in the micro-climate of Suvereto in the Maremma lies one of Tuscan’s elite properties, Montepeloso and the value wine from the house the 2017 Montepeloso A Quo is one of the truly great wines at it’s price point coming out of Italy. The man behind Montepeloso is the great Fabio Chiarelotto who has emerged as one of the towering winemakers of the Tuscan coast. This is a great drinking wine, superbly rich, marvelously supple with a cashmere finish. I often get requests from friends and customers who are in a restaurant and send me a picture of the restaurants wine lists asking me to pick out a great value. If this wine is on the list, it’s the wine I recommend every time. Triple 90+pts by Suckling, Parker and Galloni and with our low price, this is a definite case buy!
Tucked away in the hills of Suvereto near Bolgheri on the Tuscan Coast – one of the hottest areas in Tuscany – is the 15-acre Montepeloso estate. The winemaker, Swiss-born Fabio Chiarelotto, admits about his wine that it’s “easy to produce concentrated wines in such a hot climate…but it’s much harder to achieve elegance and finesse.” In order to take full advantage of the terroir’s potential, he overhauled the vineyards in 1997 – retraining, pruning, and even regrafting many vines. In the cellar, he does relatively short macerations, employs natural yeasts during fermentation, and bottles without filtration.Nardo (Tuscan dialect for lavender), remains Montepelosos’ flagship wine. It is an unfiltered blend of approximately 70% Sangiovese, 20% Montepulciano, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and never made in a quantity of more than 400 cases a year.
Beginning in 1997, there is a second luxury cuvée, made in even smaller quantities—Gabbro, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from 35 year-old years. Approximately 120 cases are produced.
The estate’s basic Rosso was renamed Eneo for the 2000 vintage. This wine has emerged as something special in its own right since Chiarelotto’s arrival, and the new name celebrates that fact. It remains primarily Sangiovese, with Colorino and Merlot, and is aged in 2nd and 3rd year French barrique. It remains a pure and powerful, yet elegant example from this heralded zone of Tuscany.
Production will gradually increase as the young vineyards reach maturity. For now, these remain among Italy’s elite rarities.