Please remember to approach the world of wine responsibly
On the surface, MonteRosola could be like any one of the hundreds of producers that one finds on the rolling hillsides of Tuscany, but what has drawn me to this producer?
Could it the variety of interesting and affordable wines they produce, or is it their contemporary approach to the Italian art of winemaking? You’ll see from my research that it’s both of these and so much more because MonteRosola is a winery that is on an upwards trajectory and it’s eager to spread the word.
The winery overlooks a beautiful medieval city, but doesn’t every other winery in this area? The first thing I love about MonteRosola is a view that draws you in and makes you want to linger, to spend some time exploring.
For those seeking a sense of breeding in their Tuscan beauties then Bolgheri is on the doorstep and the hills of Chiati are a close neighbour. Still not impressed? Then can I point out the complex microclimate that nurtures the 25 hectares of both red and white grapes.
It’s a family business but this doesn’t rule out a sense of perspective when it comes to chasing an ideal that might be based in modern thinking. The team who work here have the sort of pedigree that would open many an impressive door, including an oenologist who has sung for his supper at Antinori and Frescobaldi.
In terms of wine production it’s a baby that is less than twenty years, but I think this freshness is what is at the heart of the MonteRosola philosophy.
When the Thomaeus Family bought the place in 2013 they didn’t just want to be one of those fusty wine castles that tourists poured out of coaches into, they wanted their winery to be a destination of choice in its own right, and to prove that they’re not talk, they constructed a grand-scale cantina with facilities for tastings and events in 2019 that include private areas, VIP dining room and landscaped gardens.
Talk about visiting (tour/tasting options)
Who are the Thomaeus Family?
Their wines and their process – talk about their tulips
Cassero 2018 (Single variety Vermentino) - £10.16
Colour is a delicate pale yellow (almost watery like a water colour).
The nose is hardly there but give it a chance and you'll find a straw/grassy odour coming through. This has a slight addition of citrus.
The taste - this is where this wine comes into its own and I'm now getting pear and straw with a chalky minerality fighting for my attention. There's acidity but it certainly doesn't rob this wine by distraction.
The get out is medium and hedgerow. and certain herbs and this might be a new kid on the block but it's promising for the future.
Primo Passo 2018 (Mixture of Grechetto/Manzioni/Viognier) - £20.58
The colour has a little bit more of a determined air about it and the yellow has gone from pale and watery to noticiable. It's like a FRench golden delicious)
The nose - Perhaps because I'm drinking these cold but they are hard to work out. They're all slight and on the edge. There's green fruit but it's as though it's occuring in passing. I'm sure there's an edge of mint (the plant and not a sweet) but it's gone as soon as I detect it.
I've warmed it a little and now I'm getting peach tones that are interesting and underpinned by a peach stone and flinty note.
The taste - Initial viscous qualities give way to peach and apple and then there's an almost liquorice quality in the distance.
The get out is short but the whole thing has balance and I'm really enjoying what this is giving.
Mastio 2018 (Sangiovese Blend) - £11.13
Unlike the whites which I felt were too cold that it took them a while to get going, I'd left the reds at room temp for quite a while and hope that they will respond accordingly.
The colour is plum and inviting. There's a youthfulness to the colour when you look from above and the edge has that watery colour of a baby red.
The nose is a delicious red fruit meets black with cherries, raspberries and all manner of enticing goodies. This isn't a wine to store, it's a wine to share and is built for fun. Slight sour cherry in the mix.
To taste - It's like candy in the mouth and the red fruit leads to a darker blackcurrant, blackberry and a touch of vanilla. I think there's a jammy quality to the fruit
Medium get out and for the price this is punching well above its weight.
Crescendo 2016 (Sangiovese) - £21.79
From a price point this is the grown-up on the family, so I'm assuming this is one of the stars that the winery offer. As A Sangiovese does it fit the bill.
The Colour: A couple of years older and the colour is noticeably darker in the centre, and the watery red edge is starting to fade. This ruby red is the sort of colour I like because it promises fruit and enjoyment (change).
The nose - Straight away I'm getting a little more depth than the Mastio and on second visit I'm not getting sour cherry, red fruit and an edge of red cherry.
To taste - It's red fruit at the start with those wonderful Sangiovese cherry notes leading the way. I'm now getting a black pepper taste that certainly adds something. The tannins are not fully developed and are there without being pronounced. Wood comes through and gives the wine a vanilla tone. I'm also picking up grilled/toasted food
The get out is longer and that's when you notice the black fruits waiting to pounce. I've save the best till last.