Friday, July 28, 2023

Sangiovese of Southern Tuscany in Montecucco

The Montecucco wine region has been gaining visibility in recent years. It has always been overshadowed by some of Tuscany's more prominent wine regions, including its closest neighbor, Montalcino, and the respectable Brunello di Montalcino. 

Montecucco is in the southern part of Tuscany in what is known as the Maremma.  It’s situated on the slopes of Monte Amiata, an ancient, extinct volcano Italy’s 2nd highest volcano. 

In the late 90s, a group of producers wanted to distinguish themselves and the Montecucco terroir with a Sangiovese that has its own personality representative of their particular region.  In 1998 the Montecucco DOC was created, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year since its inception.  In 2011, the area was also granted the Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG designation.  As you can see, this is a relatively newer recognized appellation in the grander scheme of Italian wines. 

Montecucco wine region in Tuscany
Montecucco - sourced from Consorzio Tutela Vini Montecucco

Montecucco encompasses 7 municipalities: Castel del Piano, Campagnatico, Seggiano, Arcidosso, Roccalbegna, Civitella Paganico, and Cinigiano.  The vineyards are on the southwest hillsides, on the complete opposite side of Montalcino, separated by the Orcia River Valley. Directly to the south of Montecucco is Scansano, where Morellino di Scansano is produced.  Montecucco has a rich biodiversity with a strong focus on agriculture with various crops, vineyards, and a large amount of olive groves.  As you can imagine, the soils are volcanic with rich minerals and clay.

The Wines 

I sampled a few wines to share today in very different stylesThese wines change with some time in the glass, so I suggest trying them upon first opening and then again after some time 

The 2019 Le PianoreTiniatusMontecucco Rosso DOC is made from Sangiovese and MerlotMontecucco from the Rosso DOC must be at least 60% SangioveseThis wine was aged ¼ in French oak tonneaux and ¾ in steel with an additional 6 months in the bottleThe vineyards sit at 1,600+ feet above sea level.  Transparent ruby in the glass with blueberry and tart cherry aromas.  Bright acidity up front with moderate tannin that tamed down with time in the glass.  The fruit leaned more on the tart cherry side and wasn’t as prevalent as the following wines.  ABV 13.5% SRP $34

2019 Le Pianore “Tiniatus” Montecucco Rosso DOC

The 2018 La Banditaccia “Vigna Allegra” Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG is a wine named after the vineyard in which it was grown, “vigna allegra,” that stands at 1,600+ feet above sea levelThis winery was purchased by the Petrecca familyIt’s an organic farm that sits on Monte Amiata's slopes near the Monticella Amiata villageThey farm grapes and olives groves in an area known for its excellent olive production, Seggiano, which overlooks the Val d’OrciaIn addition, they also produce lavender oil.   

The Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG requires a minimum of 90% Sangiovese with 17 months of aging in total, with at least 12 months in oakThis wine was fermented and aged for 14 months in large Slavonian oakThe color was slightly more dense than the last but still relatively transparent with a ruby color and garnet edgesRich cherry aromas are carried to the palate, along with cedar notes and a vibrant acidityFirm, gripping tannins that loosened up with some time.  A persistent finish that becomes silky.  This was my favorite from the tasting with the next being a close second!  ABV 14% SRP $20-25

2018 La Banditaccia “Vigna Allegra” Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG

The 2018 Peteglia Montecucco Sangiovese Riserva DOCG is made by two brothers, Marco and Emmanuele Innocenti. The wine spent 2 months on the skins and 36 months in the bottle. More garnet colored with brick hues on the rim. The nose was more earthy and savory with darker cherry aromas. Very dry with bright acidity and tannin more integrated into the wine. A slight bitterness without very ripe fruit like the prior wine. Some oak showing on the persistent finish.  SRP $45

2018 Peteglia Montecucco Sangiovese Riserva DOCG

Although Montecucco mainly produces red wines, you will also find white wines, rose, and vin santo produced there. Check out this part of Tuscany and let me know how you enjoy the Sangiovese of southern Tuscany versus the more northern part.  


If you're interested in trying some Montecucco for yourself, search

*I may receive commissions if any wines are purchased directly from the affiliated link to support the operations of Vino Travels.  These wines were provided as samples, but opinions are always my own.

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