One of today’s trends worldwide is to make wine using indigenous grape varieties. Badia a Coltibuono is a famed Chianti Classico producer using the traditional (and indigenous) sangiovese grape to produce outstanding wines. But a few years back they began bottling a red wine made from sangiovese and a handful of other indigenous grapes. Eight others, to be exact, and this bottling, called Montebello, is simply remarkable. Only 3,500 bottles were made in the 2013 vintage and, if you can, get a hold of this unique red. It makes one wonder why more producers don’t make a “field blend” from these ancient and luxurious grapes (mamollo, ciliegiolo, pugnitello, colorino, sanforte, malvasia nera, canaiolo, fogliatonda and sangiovese).
2013 Montebello, Badia a Coltibuono $60 suggested retail price
Deep ruby/garnet in color. A brooding, slightly rustic nose of roses, lilac, dried cherries and freshly turned earth. Elements of tobacco and licorice emerge with aeration. Strapping flavors with fruit compote and a cocoa-laden mouthfeel that makes you smile. Cherries and black fruits dominate with caramel, vanilla and pepper notes on the finish. Extremely impressive now with a one-hour decant. Drink with a pasta Bolognese, beef Stroganoff or arroz with black beans. Drink now-2023.