Montecalvi, an exciting small producer from Chianti Classico


Montecalvi is an old vineyard and wine has been made here since the 15th century. It became an independent estate in the 1980s and is now owned by the Drake family, who also have a winery (Collalto) in Australia’s Adelaide Hills region. They have modernized things and have replanted some vineyards with indigenous varieties. Farming is organic (certified). Winemaker is Tim Manning, who is English! This is a small domaine of 10 hectares, of which 4 ha are under vine.

Montecalvi Chianti Classico 2019 Toscana, Italy
13.5% alcohol. Organic. This is supple and elegant with lovely sweet red cherry and redcurrant fruit. There’s a brightness and elegance to this wine. Supple with good acidity and a nice sweet, textural core, showing some silkiness. This is Sangiovese superbly managed with massive drinkability. There’s some subtle spice and tar, here, and it finishes detailed and grainy, in a nice way. 93/100

Montecalvi Chianti Classico Riserva 2019 Toscana, Italy
14% alcohol. Organic. This is about smoothness and refinement, without losing that Chianti Classico character. Red cherries, plums and fine spicy notes, with a sappy hint and some mid-palate warmth and volume. A really elegant Riserva, with good concentration but also a sense of ease and refinement. There’s a bit of spicy crunch on the finish, too. Has enough structure to develop, but approachable now. 94/100

Montecalvi Chianti Classico 2018 Tuscany, Italy
14.5% alcohol. Made from Sangiovese from the Montecalvi vineyard, complemented by a touch of Canaiolo and Canina Nera. This sees 30 days in stainless steel tank, 18 months in French oak tonneaux and six months in bottle prior to release. Aromatic with black cherry and plum notes on the nose as well as a dusty, spicy, savoury edge. Very Sangiovese in character. The palate is fresh, fine and quite elegant, but not lacking in flavour. There’s a brightness to the red cherry and plum fruit with a twist of sour cherry and damson, and a nice assertive but well integrated tannic structure and some fresh acidity. This is elegant, refined and also has a briskness and compactness to it. Expect this to age well over 5-10 years. Lovely stuff. 93/100

Montecalvi Chianti Classico Riserva 2018 Tuscany, Italy
14.5% alcohol. This is the debut Chianti Classico Riserva and just 265 bottles were released. From the Montecalvi Alto vineyard, picked, vinified and aged separately. Fermented in small batches, 25% whole cluster, aged in a third use barrique for 24 months. It has an intoxicating aroma of spice, red cherries, herbs and liqueur-like berry fruits, with a bit of acid lift. The palate is concentrated and intense with keen acidity, raspberry, plum, cherry and damson fruit, and a lovely tension between the ripe fruit, the keen acidity and grippy structure, and the savoury spicy notes. It’s a really beautiful wine, showing a bit of tension, some slight volatility (but it really works in context), and lovely fruit concentration. A wonderful expression of Chianti Classico. 94/100

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