Grapelive Wine of the Day
By Kerry Winslow
2009 Mastrojanni Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscan Red, Italy.
This estate near Castelnuovo dell’ Abate was started in 1975 when the Roman lawyer, Gabriele Mastrojanni bought the two old estates of Loreto and San Pio near the river mouth of the Orcia River in a rocky wooded area of this famous region. Planted on river rock and south facing slopes the vines at Mastrojanni are as perfectly sited as can be and it shows in the beauty and depth in the wines made here. Loreto is mostly planted to Brunello clone, while San Pia has a block of Cabernet Sauvignon which is blended with a touch of their Sangiovese Grosso in a San Pia bottling to go with their Brunello and Rosso. Interestingly enough, while the Mastrojanni Brunello gets all the attention, I have twice now in great vintages of Brunello, have been more impressed by the Rosso di Montalcino and the 2009 certainly is a lovely surprise out performing the highly touted 2006 Brunello in a recent tasting! While the Brunello is no slouch by any means, the 2009 just is more elegant and vibrant, and even better, it is half the price at least! The nose is deep with spring flowers, black currants and lavender like sweet herbs leading the way while the palate has plum, strawberry jam, black cherry and raspberry fruits. The 2009 Rosso feels silky smooth, but has good fresh acidity and tangy flavors with a background of licorice, cedar, mineral spice and violets. Mastrojanni uses big, mostly neutral French casks for this wine (aged 6 months) and the Alliers wood is subtle and refined framing this Sangiovese perfectly.
($30 Est.) 92-93 Points, grapelive
Available at www.sfwtc.com ($25.95)