Rosso di Montalcino from Castello Romitorio is a classic Sangiovese which is bursting with characteristic Morello Cherries and a complex mix of savoury dry spices, leather and pungent sweet spice. The grapes are sourced from the younger vines within Romitorio’s vineyards and only aged in oak for 10 months. This is not an introduction to Brunello or a cheaper alternative. It is a wonderful wine in its own right which is youthful, charming and every bit as complex as Brunello but in a much more energetic and instant way.
Castello Romitorio was a half renovated abandoned wreck when artist Sandro Chia purchased it in 1984. What was left of the building had been abandoned after WW2 and used only by shepherds until Baron Giorgio Franchetti, a historic building restorer, purchased it in the 1970’s. He abandoned his plan (I didn’t say he was a successful building restorer) and sold the property to Sandro who completed the work and brought the building back to life as his home and art studio. The building had been built originally in the 12th century as an imposing hilltop fortress to guard the town of Montalcino. In the late 1980’s Sandro set about restoring the land around the castle back to its former glory with an overhaul of the vineyards. New cellars were constructed in 2005 and along with Filippo, Sandro’s son, the wines have become internationally recognised as expressions of Sangiovese than flirt between the modern and classic style with extraordinary elegance.