Podere Scopetone Sangiovese di Toscana 2018
This lovely 100% Sangiovese from Tuscany is made from fruit cultivated with organic methods. 20% of it is in fact de-classified Montalcino, from a very small estate named Podere Scopetone. The vines are situate 250-300 meters above sea level with southwest exposure, fermentation and maturation is done in stainless steel, and about 1000 cases produced annually. This estate also produces small quantities of Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino.
Some long-time Brunello fans remember Scopetone fondly: the Montalcino hilltop perch of Federigo Abbarchi and his wife Angela Corioni. They came from outside of Montalcino, but perhaps that’s what gave them such a keen appreciation of Sangiovese. At a time when the world was obsessed with Parkerized barrique bombs, they crafted traditional, elegant wines from their tiny holdings with the help of Giulio Gambelli, and later Attilio Pagli. The estate was so small in fact (less than one hectare) that it was often a mystery to us whether they would declassify to produce Rosso di Montalcino or if the entire production would be destined to Brunello. Sadly, in the intervening years, Federigo’s health failed him and the wines fell into neglect. While Angela made an effort to continue on her own, managing the winery was too much.
In 2009 a chance meeting occurred. A neighboring beekeeper and her viticulturist husband, Loredana Tanganelli and Antonio Brandi, met Angela and they struck a deal to keep the estate alive: Angela would offer a long-term lease on the vineyards and cellar to Loredana & Antonio if they would maintain Scopetone as their label. It took no time for Loredana and Antonio to agree; they saw the potential of adding their vineyards and energies to an already world-renowned Montalcino estate. And as Montalcinesi in touch with nature, they could see no other way to make the wines than in the traditional, elegant style for which they have always been so loved. 2009 was the first vintage that joined Loredana and Antonio’s vineyards to Scopetone’s, bringing their total hectares in Montalcino to a minuscule 2.5! All farming at Scopetone is certified organic though it is not advertised on the labels. For such a small estate, the bureaucratic processes are too much to battle on their own.
VinousRemarkably fresh, bright and perfumed, the 2018 Rosso di Toscana Sangiovese lifts up with notes of cherry, sage and dusty rose. It’s soft yet energetic, as well as incredibly pure, as vivid strawberry fruit gives way to an invigorating mix of salty minerals and brisk acids. While a bit short, this still leaves a lasting impression with an air of violet flowers that lingers.