There we were enjoying a tasting of Le Ragnaie wines at The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. Actually, everyone in the shop was having a wonderful time, but we were all missing the chance to meet and talk with the proprietor and winemaker Riccardo Campinotti, who was stuck in some airport, God only knows. The importer of the wines and the staff at The Fine Wine Source were making up for the missing Mr. Campinotti, whose photo was posted around the shop. After the initial wine the Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie Troncone Toscana Rosso IGT, all the other wines poured were Brunello di Montalcino wines and pure Sangiovese.
The first was the Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2017 and this is considered his entry level Brunello. The fruit comes from the Ragnaie, Petroso, Loreto, Fornace and Cava vineyards. The initial fermentation and maceration using native yeast is done in concrete vats and may take up to forty days. Then the wine is aged for thirty-six months in Slavonian Oak vats and then aged in bottle before release. A beautiful Sangiovese with notes of red fruits and florals. On the palate the striking tones of cherries, strawberries, cedar with a nice structured tannins that I am sure will even be more graceful in another ten years. This was a nice chewy wine, that ends with terroir and spices. An excellent chewy wine that belies the fact that it is the entry level offering, especially with my Bride continually telling me that she likes this wine.
The next wine was the Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie “Fornace” Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016 and the first of the black labels, which denotes his desire to create a Burgundian single vineyard cuvee, because of the difference of each plot. The estate has been described as a four-sided pyramid and this plot “Fornace” which means furnace is the hottest clime and the lowest altitude and basically a clay soil, which creates a richer and stronger wine. The vines were thirty-five-years old and this wine had about forty-five days of fermentation and maceration time in concrete. Then the mandated thirty-six months in the Slavonia Oak vats and followed with more aging in the bottle. A rich color with notes of cherry, roses, spices and a touch of anise. On the palate, this was a much muscular wine with cherry and plum, tones of kirsch and very earthy with dusty tannins, with a nice long finish of terroir and a nice touch of orange peel that was refreshing. This wine was drinkable now, but another ten years to really enjoy the maturity of the multi-layers that I think this wine will deliver.