Share this wine
Argiano is a beautiful estate in the southern western portion of the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. The estate has a long history of excellence in the region and is reaching new heights under new ownership. The 120 ha property follows the traditional Tuscan model of mixed land use featuring vineyards, olive groves and woodlands. A majestic Renaissance villa is also housed on the property making this one of the loveliest visits in the region. Argiano produces brilliant examples of Brunello and...
Suolo is dark ruby in colour, with its typical “nose” of complex red berry notes. With its structure, Suolo is smooth and velvety, well-balanced overall, dark and mysterious, with superbly integrated oaky notes. The aftertaste lingers, with balsamic, earthy and persistent fruity scents. It presents notes of red berries, flowers, spices, licorice, smoke and earthiness that are outlined and perfumed in a pure and vibrant expression of Sangiovese.
The vineyards of Argiano benefit from a favourable microclimate and an enviable position which contribute to the development of the vines. Theextended vegetative cycle and ripening period are due to the altitude of the plateau, 300 m above sea level, which determines cool nights in the summer months. The generally moderate rainfall in Montalcino favours better, healthier ripening of the grapes, conveying greater concentration and aromasto the wine. This, together with the hot and constant winds that blow from the Maremma, cooling the bunches of grapes during the hottest summer days, allows slower ripening of the grapes, determining favourable general conditions. Lastly, Argiano is close to Mount Amiata, one of Tuscany’s highest peaks, which protects the entire area from bad weather. The combination of all these factors enables Argiano to make high profile wines and constantly good vintages, year after year.
The grapes are harvested by hand in the middle of October. After a final selection during the harvest, the grapes are brought into the cellar in small crates. After being removed from the stalks, they are placed in temperature controlled fermentation tanks. The presence of a large proportion of whole berries allows a slow and gradual start to fermentation, almost a sort of “carbonic maceration”, meaning that fermentation starts inside the berries. This process favours the indigenous yeasts and conveys great finesse and complexity to the future wine, offering a good representation of the vineyards of origin. The “must” is left in contact with the skins for about three weeks to obtain maximum, but not excessive, extraction. Then it is poured into 300 litre barrels. The second fermentation, also known as malo-lactic fermentation (undergone by all red wines), takes place directly in new, very finely textured French oak barriques which are carefully selected to emphasize the smoothness of the fruit and tannins. Lastly, the wine is aged slowly in the same barriques, being racked just once. Suolo is usually bottled in July, without filtering, so it may release a harmless sediment, the mark of a high quality natural wine.
- 92 Points -
Anthony Gismondi, March 2017
The Suolo ‘cru’ comes off one of the oldest estates in Montalcino. Originally the creation of Bordeaux-trained winemaker Hans Vinding-Diers, ‘Suolo’ translates as soil. Moving forward in 2014 and especially 2015, Suolo is to become the purest expression of Argiano’s soil under its new ‘less is more,’ consultant, Alberto Antonini. The 100 percent sangiovese grosso is a mix of fruit from the Vignoni vineyard (1966) the oldest vines at Argiano, and from Oliviera (1989), one of Argiano’s younger sites. The pair face south/southwest at 300 metres altitude, and are on a mix of clay, schist, calcareous and limestone soils. At veraison the yield is reduced to four to five bunches per plant. The grapes are hand harvested and a large proportion of whole berries forces a slow and gradual start to fermentation. Post ferment, Suolo is aged in 600 litre tonneaux for 16 months, followed by one year in the bottle before release. In 2013 the style is rich and powerful with smoky, plum and black cherry, vanilla, coffee aromas that open to floral, earthy, black cherry, peppery orange, licorice/coffee balsamic flavours. Napa goes to Italy. Certainly this needs time and will not be ready to drink before 2020. If you must, make sure meat is on the menu, or a well-aged hard cheese.See detailed press review