July 3, 2020
Final Allocation from the “Bird-Catcher’s Net” and Montalcino’s Highest Altitudes. It's the Super Cuvée and Artisanal Grand Cru Wines of Brunello That Appeal to the “Nebbiolo” and “Red Burgundy” Enthusiast. Best Pricing - This Weekend Only.
“Le Ragnaie … will appeal to readers with an appreciation for Red Burgundy or Nebbiolo.” - Antonio Galloni
Delizioso! You have heard us say it several times, this is the one word, and best way, to sum up many of the Brunello di Montalcino from the ripe 2015 vintage. Yes, the vintage has been dubbed the “fairytale vintage” by the media and has entered the pantheon of legendary ripe years such as 1997, 2007 and even, 2010. For IWM it is simple, there is an extraordinary quality of concentrated fruit in this vintage, with precise varietal characteristics and a stunning level of balance across the region. As Andrea Mantengoli of La Serena exclaimed to Vinous a few months back, 2015 was "A vintage made by God,” meaning the sunny vintage provided by Mother Nature supplied everything that was needed in the vineyard to make great wine – as many did. The inviting approachability will be the perfect complement to the upcoming 2016 vintage, where most of the wines will need more time.
And while we have highlighted many of the juicy and rich expressions from Caprili, La Serena, and Ciacci Piccolomini we wanted to share another side of Montalcino, and that is the wines of La Ragnaie. A description begins best with this quote above from Antonio Galloni. What we appreciate here is how quickly the statement captures what this rising star is all about. This is high-toned Brunello for the high-altitude enthusiasts – in fact, many of the vines they own are among from the highest planted in Montalcino – located in areas known for bird catchers – thus the bird-catchers net on the label. Not only will these more precise Brunellos charm fans of Biondi Santi and Il Marronento, they will appeal to many Burgundy and Barolo collectors. The estate is, in fact, best known for its single vineyard bottlings from the Grand Cru like vineyards of the region. We are talking the iconic vineyards and old vines that define great Brunello, placed in the hands of one of the region’s most dynamic producers - Riccardo Campinoti. For many in the trade, these are the “winemaker’s Brunello” and “textbook Brunello,” expressions of freshness, purity and minerality. For IWM, greatness starts with the straight Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino Normale, a super cuvée produced with selections from Riccorado’s distinct vineyard holdings including the prized vineyards of Montosoli and Fornace.
Well, IWM quietly and quickly sold out of our first allocation of the 2015 La Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino, and we are now pleased to present a second and final allocation that has just arrived in the US. I had the La Ragnaie last evening and it was so stunning, the first thing I did on our day off was to secure more. Simply put, the best tip I can provide on the July 4th weekend, or for the 2015 Brunello vintage for that matter, begins with 2015 La Ragnaie Brunello. I have not been this excited about a Normale expression since discovering Canaliccio di Sopra years back. This is easily one of our wines of the vintage, it absolutely stuns, capturing the essence of Sangiovese showcasing a more linear expression – with the signature nuances of baked cherries, dried red fruit, baked earth, and leather. And while classic in style, the wine wears its coat of 2015 ripeness and is deceivingly approachable today.
We are pleased to present the Normale and limited production crus at some of the best pricing in the country for this weekend only.
Rising Star of Brunello Delivers Super Cuvée and the Grand Crus of Montalcino (Click to Order)
Note: The 2015 wines arrive in July. The **2010 is pre-arrival from Europe.
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND REVIEWS:
“Le Ragnaie continues to excel with that same approach to purity, yet now they do so with a range of different expressions found throughout Montalcino’s diverse terroir. Located just south of the town of Montalcino, the Le Ragnaie vineyard (the one that started it all) is the highest elevation vineyard in the region with a large portion of old vines, which lends the V.V. a remarkable depth, but also a fresh character even in the warmest vintages. The Fornace vineyard takes advantage of the region's southern climate in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, with thirty-year-old vines planted in soils consisting of calcareous marl, galestra, and sandstone. And then, of course, there is the first bottling of the Casanovina Montosoli in 2015 (a vineyard that requires no introduction); here, Campinoti’s east-facing parcel sits at 300 meters a.s.l. in soils of true galestro. Frankly, it ranks among the top wines of the vintage. The classic Brunello is today a blending of their different locations, and it’s an overperformer in every way. Vineyard practices are organic, and the winery, although modern and spotless, practices all aging of their Brunello in large Slavonian oak botti. In 2015, Le Ragnaie hit it out of the park!” - Vinous
2015 Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino
Where many producers see their single vineyard wines as the most important, Riccardo views his ‘normale’ as his focus and passion. While the vineyards are kept separate for fermentation and aging, he makes his selection for this wine first and everything else is then sorted out after the fact. In 2015, this is 50% Ragnaie (20% of which is V.V.), 30% from Montalcino (67% Montosoli & 33% Petroso), and 20% from Castelnuovo dell’Abate (50% La Cava, 30% Loreto, 20% Fornace). Since 2005, all of the vineyards, except those acquired recently (Montosoli) have been farmed organically and certified since 2012. The grapes were hand harvested and destemmed and lightly crushed, prior to being placed into large cement fermenters undergoing spontaneous fermentation. After three months on skins the must is gently pressed and gravity fed into a mixture of 25-100hL Slavonian botti. After three years of aging the wine was bottled directly from barrel without fining or filtration.
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “This Super Cuvée from distinct plots and old vines is hands down one of the wines of the vintage. Everything about this wine screams classic Brunello. Whereas other Brunellos get you excited about the ripe and approachable 2015 vintage, this wine gets you excited about the noble Sangiovese first and foremost. The purity of color in the glass and intoxicating aromatics are well worth the price of admission here alone. Right from the pull of the cork the wine showcases inviting and classic nuances of dried red fruit, black cherries, blood oranges, a touch of plum, brown spice, cigar box, sandalwood, wild herbs, and baked earth. There is precision, depth and concentration that just echoes across the finish. This is classic Brunello at its best and it can be enjoyed today while aging and impressing another ten years. While many collectors will drift to the single vineyard expressions, it is this Super Cuvée that should not be missed by Sangiovese purists. A wine of the vintage.”
2015 Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino Vigna Vecchia
V.V.’ or ‘Vigna Vecchia’ is adjacently west of the winery and faces west/southwest toward the sea. It was planted in 1968 on 60+ million-year-old Danian limestone with sandstone atop, making it one of the oldest vineyards in Montalcino, and at an altitude between 590-600 meters. Since 2005 it has been farmed organically and certified since 2012. The grapes were hand harvested and destemmed and lightly crushed, prior to being placed into large cement fermenters undergoing spontaneous fermentation. After three months on skins the must is gently pressed and gravity fed into a single large 32hL Slavonian botti. After three years aging the wine was bottled directly from barrel without fining or filtration.
Vinous: “Bright medium red-ruby. Tighter on the nose than the Fornace bottling but less so than the Casanovina Montosoli, hinting at red fruits and flowers. Then surprisingly smooth and suave in the mouth, with great class and gorgeous purity to the dark and red berry, herb and bitter chocolate flavors. Penetrating minerality contributes to the impression of precision and verve on the long, multilayered and smooth finish.” (4/2020)
2015 Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino Fornace
The ‘Fornace’ cru is located in a warmer part of Montalcino than ‘Ragnaie’, in Catelnuovo dell’Abate. The .73 ha lot was planted in 1980 on a 390 meter elevation north/northeast ridge that protects it from the unrelenting afternoon summer sun. The name ‘fornace’ references the areas brick making history from the calcareous marl soils. ‘Fornace’ always has the most depth and intensity and offers the most on release. Since 2005, it has been farmed organically and certified since 2012. The grapes were hand harvested and destemmed and lightly crushed, prior to being placed into large cement fermenters undergoing spontaneous fermentation. After three months on skins the must is gently pressed and gravity fed into a single large 32hL Slavonian botti. After three years aging the wine was bottled directly from barrel without fining or filtration.
Vinous: “The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Fornace is laced remarkably pretty display of zesty bright cherry, offset by savory herbs and spice, as dusty minerals and dried florals add further depths. On the palate, silky textures give way to ripe cherry and spice, as saline-minerals and juicy acids add tension, while a hint of fine tannins slowly saturate, yet the 2015 never loses its vibrant persona. The finish is long, resonating with n dried cherry and cranberry over a coating of mineral-laced tannins. This is such a precise Brunello. I’m a huge fan. An utterly superb Brunello that echoes long in the memory thanks to aromas and flavors of red cherry, minerals, pomegranate and black pepper. Smooth, with very polished tannins and a multifaceted personality. Leave a long creamy but lively mouthfeel behind.” (4/2020)
2015 Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino Casanovina Montosoli
100% Sangiovese Grosso. Pliocene rocky galestra. 16 year old vines. Grapes are hand-picked and de-stemmed. Native fermentation in concrete and then aged in 25 hl Slavonian oak casks for 36 months.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “Here is a new wine from Le Ragnaie with fruit coming exclusively from the celebrated Montosoli hill. Le Ragnaie's 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Casanovina Montosoli veers toward graceful tones of wild cherry, pressed blueberries and those little bluebell violets that grow deep in the forest. The aromas here are more pungent and vertical in character with cola and medicinal tones that rise directly from the top. The mouthfeel is compact and lean, with long, medium-weight staying power that leaves a precise and sharply chiseled trail of fruit flavors. This Casanovina Montosoli expression is a real treat thanks to those lingering tones of crushed mineral and smoke. These are very encouraging results. Of these new releases from Le Ragnaie, my money is on this bottle for the best cellar-aging performance. It was bottled in April 2019 and will go to market in February 2020. Some 3,500 bottles were produced.”
This is an email ONLY offer! If you would like to take advantage of this offer, we are asking that you email orders back to me at email@example.com, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation.
All my best, and have a safe July 4th weekend with family and friends.