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MWG January 16th tasting (7/8): Bella Stella

with 2 comments

Rosso di Montalcino 2009, Stella di Campalto ($51.75, La QV, 6 bottles/case)
The 13.5-hectare Podere S. Giuseppe estate with its 5.5 hectares of vineyards has been certified organic since 1996 and using biodynamic methods since 2002. It makes only two wines (this Rosso and a pricey Brunello), a grappa and olive oil. The grapes for this 100% Sangiovese Grosso were manually harvested, destemmed, transferred into old wooden vats (the winery uses a gravity system) and fermented with indigenous yeasts. The resulting wine was matured 21 months in 225- and 900-litre barrels and nine months in the bottle. Small amounts of sulphur may have been added throughout the wine-making process. 14% ABV.
Wafting Sangiovese nose: terracotta, dried herbs (including tobacco), cherry, a hint of anisette. Medium-bodied and satiny. The fruit is sweet, the acidity bright, the tannins fine and supple. An faint iron note emerges on the long, savory finish. Lean bordering on austere but admirably pure, and the alcohol in no way stands out. While a couple of tasters dismissed it as “crantini,” the only thing holding me back is the price. (Buy again? Thinking about it.)

Written by carswell

February 5, 2014 at 16:04

2 Responses

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  1. Yeah well, it’s really not worth the price. For the same price you may have a brunello. Or two rosso from any other azienda that you will have trouble saying whose is the best in a blind tasting.


    February 5, 2014 at 23:00

    • Your point’s well taken, Antoine, but I’d still love to spend some extended time with a bottle of it. Can’t say when was the last time I encountered a Sangiovese that was so pure and silky, so palate-lifting, so analogous to, say, some of the natural Etnas we’ve been enjoying of late. It was a light-bulb moment when, post-tasting, I learned that the winemaker is a woman. And, as Cyril pointed out, the Rosso may be pricey but it runs about a third of the price of the estate’s Burnello. Unfortunately, that’s still a bit dear for me. You’re right that it’d be interesting to taste it blind against other Rossos. Maybe next year.


      February 7, 2014 at 12:12

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