The last two wine tastings for the afternoon of Le Ragnaie wines at my local wine shop, The Fine Wine Source of Livonia, Michigan was upon us. The tasting was supposed to be conducted by the owner and winemaker Riccardo Campinotti, but alas, he was stuck in some airport, part of flotsam and jetsam of today’s air transportation. Riccardo and Jennifer Campinotti purchased the original property, a mix of new and old vines and established Le Ragnaie in 2003. The organically farmed estate now has three distinct parcels and has forty-two acres in Montalcino, with olive groves mixed in as well. It has some of the highest altitude vines in the region, and this area also is very popular for bird catchers, and hence the traditional birdwatchers’ net that is on the label.
Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie “Casanovina Montosoli” Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2017 is pure Sangiovese and is one of the cuvee wines made since 2015. This is a one-hectare vineyard adjacent to the cellars of an historic estate. The wine undergoes fermentation and maceration with indigenous yeasts in concrete vats for forty-five days. After the wine is aged for thirty-six months in Slavonia Oak vats, followed by additional aging in the bottle, before release. It has been written up as one of the wines of the vintage and less than three-thousand bottles of wine were produced. A pretty ruby red wine with notes of dark fruits, red cherries, mushrooms and violets. On the palate dark fruit and smoke, with very tight tannins and tinges oranges and truffles, with a very long count finish of spices and terroir. It drank beautifully and I am sure that the tannins will mellow in twenty to thirty years and give the wine a totally different memorable taste.
The last wine of the tasting was Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie “Ragnaie V.V.” Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2017. The V.V. stands for “Vigna Vecchia” or “Old Vines” with fifty-years of maturity; instead of a Riserva this wine is treated as another cuvee offering. I saw one set of notes that suggested that this wine might have had ninety days of fermentation and maceration with indigenous yeasts in concrete vats. Followed by the thirty-six months of aging in Slavonia Oak and more aging in the bottle. There were three-thousand-eight-hundred bottles made. The ruby-red wine offers notes of currants, spices and roses. On the palate, it was the fullest bodied of all the wines, probably from the older vines which create compactness and richer flavors. There were tones of cherry, licorice, spices and orange peel, fully balanced with a nice long finish of spices and terroir. Another one for the cellar, or absolutely fine right now. It was a pleasure watching my Bride taste and her writing her notes. I guess being a Street Somm has rubbed off on her.