Free and rebellious temperament. Tradition.
The estate of Castle Montepò, located south of Grosseto in Maremma, on the parallel of the Fortress of Telamon, is far from Montalcino.
Why Jacopo Biondi Santi, the latest generation of the family who invented Brunello, he bought it from the grandson of the English writer Graham Greene to make it the seat of his wine business?
The reason is simple: her father Franco perpetuated the tradition in Montalcino, following the path of our ancestors while he was pursuing, since 1991, a different project: to produce wines closer to market needs, without entering into conflict with the image of Brunello di Montalcino in which his name is so closely linked. Since the 1991 vintage he has produced the Sassoalloro, made from the same grapes as Brunello, but vinified in new ways. And with the 1993 vintage he has created another SuperTuscan, the Schidione, assembling sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and merlot.
The transaction is entered into the execution phase with the acquisition of Montepò, from which he had obtained the grapes for these early experiments: 360 hectares of land in great viticulture dominated by a castle, a medieval fortress impregnable over the centuries. Perched atop a massive relief, the military structure was partially refined during the Renaissance, and is now in excellent condition because the previous owner's husband (who a few years ago he was appointed director of the British Museum in London) had reported to its original splendor with an exemplary restoration. Jacopo Biondi Santi led the area planted to 220 hectares, planting the grape family historian, sangiovese, but also international varieties: cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah. The soil, the variety of microclimates and proximity of the sea make the estate wines suitable for the production of top-class, fully expressive of the great wine-growing potential of the Maremma. From another cru, identified by Biondi Santi, in 1997, the last great red of its range was born, a Cabernet Sauvignon that has christened with the ancient name of Montepò: Montepaone.
But this focus on SuperTuscan does not mean breaking the family tradition? "Not here," he says, "Brunello di Montalcino was born of a transgression to make wine the way a century ago, deliberate transgression made by my great-grandfather Ferruccio. Who, before becoming a winemaker, had fought with Garibaldi in Bezzecca in 1866, when he was just 17 years. It was not a conformist, he was a free and rebellious temperament. And I hope to be like at least a little '. "
Adapted from "The Great Cru Italy" Mondadori Electa Spa, March 2008
Jacopo Biondi Santi pictures