2016 Il Paradiso di Frassina, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG “Moz Art Wine” Tuscany, Italy.
Il Paradiso di Frassina “Moz Art Wine” Brunello is wonderfully transparent, elegant and authentic in nature with without the heady quality you get with some blockbuster vintages here, but rather beautiful smooth layering of classic flavors including dusty blackberry, plum, cherry and strawberry fruits that are accented well by savory elements, leather, tobacco, menthol minty notes as well as anise, cedar and dried flowers. There’s a subtle grace that is admirable here, though I’ll be honest, it is more for the drinker rather than collector and some would rightly be disappointed in the lack of stuffing, tannin and concentration here, but oh my, this a joyous and pleasing wine that needs not apologize in any way! The Mozart Vineyard at Il Paradiso di Frassina is an intriguing project where Mozart’s music is played by specially designed Bose speakers 24-7 and heard in the vines, as well as in the cellar, to study the beneficial effects of sound waves on the grapes and the resting wine post fermentation! The winery truly believes this has been a breakthrough in winemaking helping to produce a distinct and lusty Brunello di Montalcino, but even my skepticism can’t hide the big smile on my face while experiencing this 2016, this is delicious and exceptionally well balanced wine that gets better with food and with every sip. The Paradiso di Frassina, set amongst olive groves and the Tuscan forested hills is an ancient medieval farm that dates back to the 11th century and is located just five kilometers north of the historic hilltop town of Montalcino. The estate is perfect nestled at the foot of the famed hill of Montosoli, which is one of the best sites in all of the Brunello of Montalcino DOCG zone! The vines here have a bit more cooling influence and the wine is not overly high in natural alcohol, though it does have excellent ripeness with the clay and loamy top soil helping bring out the fruit quality here.
This utterly compelling all organic, medium-bodied Sangiovese Grosso (Brunello clone) spent 36 months in well seasoned French oak barrels and then another 12 months after being bottled in Il Paradiso di Frassina’s temperature-controlled cellars before it was sent off to be adopted. All the grapes are de-stemmed, they are a careful selection of the best grapes from Paradiso di Frassina’s Mozart vineyard that were fermented in stainless steel to preserve freshness and saw a gentle maceration and pillage before going into the used oak. The Paradiso di Frassina property, as they themselves note, enjoys a unique location in the picturesque countryside to the south of Siena, in the Val d’Orcia valley, not all that far from the border with Chianti, in rolling hills that marry a more continental climate and soils that range from volcanic to classic clay and limestone. It is a great terroir for Tuscany’s best known grape, located in a cooler zone, and with the vineyard immersed in the harmonies the famous Austrian composer Mozart’s music, that is played and spread amid the rows of vines thanks to a hundred weather proofed speakers at Paradiso di Frassina. This is not a silly gimmick, as it might appear to be, as this is a serious experiment into agronomic and scientific research concerning the beneficial effects of musical frequencies on the vines (Vitis Vinifera), supported by the Universities of Florence and Pisa, and from the center of agronomic research of Arezzo. It also came about with the sponsorship of and by BOSE itself, who obviously specialize in the production of ultra high quality audio systems and who were interested in what the results would find. Staying at Paradiso di Frassina with its two small villas or cottages on site has become a very coveted opportunity with the promise of gorgeous vineyard landscapes, good music, a relaxed atmosphere and great Brunello (to drink during the stay here) being a huge draw. The farm’s agriturismo limited accommodations are widely popular, so you’ll have to book it well in advance, which I would recommend for classical music and wine lovers, especially after tasting this impeccable Brunello.
($60 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive