The grapes in our Montauto Pinot Nero come from vines that are 15 years old in the southern Tuscan Maremma. The soil is prevalently composed of clay and rich in pebbles; the climate is characterized by a significant temperature variation between day and night. The bunches are hand-picked during the last week of August, only in the early hours of the morning, to ensure the temperature of the grapes stays low. Winemaking begins with a soft pressing, cold pre-fermentation maceration for 48 hours, fermentation with skin contact for seven days in thermo-regulated steel vats. The wine ages for 14 months in oak barrels, of which a third are new oak and the remainder are old oak.
The wine is ruby red with light garnet hues. The nose is intense and persistent, the first notes are of balsamic and delicate hints of red fruits, such as wild strawberries, that make the bouquet more harmonious, and light notes of spices. In the mouth, it is enveloping, intense and with good persistence. The tannins are balanced and smooth, spicy and fine notes on the finish give the wine softness and character. Balance, finesse, character and elegance are the typical elements of this pinot nero.
Tenuta Montauto is in Manciano, Luisa’s hometown. Owner Riccardo Lepri was a classmate of Luisa’s, and his parents were her English teacher and driver’s ed instructor, so our history with them goes way back. The winery has been in the Lepre family for almost 60 years. (“Lepre” means “hare” in Italian, which is why you’ll see one on every label.) The vineyards are farmed organically and hand-harvested, with careful attention to quality at every stage of production.
Montauto makes wine in an old-school way, avoiding the “international style” of big, oaky, opaque wines that often lack a sense of place. By fermenting in stainless steel, or using a small amount of old oak, Montauto’s wines let the grapes express themselves clearly. Their careful selection and handling of the fruit results in elegant, food-friendly wines with distinctive characteristics from the volcanic soil and maritime microclimate of Maremma.
The estate enjoys excellent soil (clay rich in rocks such as quartz), and a proximity to the sea, both ideal for the production of great white wines. Great attention is placed on bringing cleanliness, freshness and minerality to the wine. Mantauto makes elegant, drinkable, healthy wines with low levels of sulphur, a defined aroma, and rich in natural complexity.
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