Montenidoli: 2010 Il Garrulo Chianti Colli Senesi

The 2010 Il Garrulo from Montenidoli is impactful, full of flavor and brimming with textural elegance. This is not the first time I’ve singled out Il Garrulo or the wines of Montenidoli. Working here at TWH, which is the exclusive importer of these special Tuscan wines into California, positions me favorably to appreciate and become not just familiar, but, dare I say, intimate with them. For the past 40 years, Montenidoli has been recognized for their outstanding efforts in the vineyard and in the cellar. The reverence and admiration directed at Montenidoli by writers, critics, colleagues, and ordinary wine enthusiasts who have made the trek to the winery is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed. It may be unnecessary to mention, but I will anyway, that such strong emotion is earned and not bestowed arbitrarily.

Il Garrulo is the proprietary name given to Montenidoli’s Chianti Colli Senesi that is fashioned in the traditional way set down in the late 19th Century by Barone Ricasoli to include white grapes. Il Garrulo is comprised of two red grape varietals, 75% Sangiovese and 20% Canaiolo, and two white grape varietals, 3% Trebbiano Gentile and 2% Malvasia Bianca. As you can see, the inclusion of white grapes is only a tiny proportion of the blend, but are vital to the overall sensory expression of the wine. There is real lift with a gorgeous red-petal aromatic that emanates from it. The 2010 is saturated with ripe red cherry fruit. The classic red fruit Sangiovese flavors are concentrated and plush. What is so pleasurable about the 2010 Il Garrulo is the richness of fruit combined with perky acid freshness all wrapped up like a luxurious cashmere throw by fine, plump tannins. This all translates to a versatile red that is not only perfect for traditional tomato-based foods but more exotic, harder to match dishes like Indian curries, Chile Rellenos or Chicken en Adobo. The fruitiness of the Il Garrulo won’t wilt with the heat and the smooth tannins won’t interfere with the dishes. 

The estate of Montenidoli has 24 hectares of vines and 10 of olive trees. We just received in Montenidoli’s newest batch of delicious olive oil – peppery, buttery and with a delightful bite. The estate is perched high above the hills overlooking the medieval town of San Gimignano, surrounded by 200 hectares of woodlands.  My in-laws had the chance to visit Montenidoli back in ’11 and they describe getting to the winery as if on some wild, off-road adventure.

This past February, proprietress and winemaker, Elisabetta Fagiuoli paid another visit to The Wine House. I regrettably was not able to meet with her during her very short stay. Despite her age, Elisabetta comes to San Francisco to work. And she works hard and tirelessly, just as she does at Montenidoli. However, the usually feisty and energetic Elisabetta was not quite herself this time around. It was with great sadness that we learned that Elisabetta’s partner in life, work and love, Sergio Muratori had passed away in the Fall. It would be unthinkable for me to write about Montenidoli without acknowledging Elisabetta and Sergio for Montenidoli is not just a place, or a portfolio of wines, but it is a living testament to their union. —Anya Balistreri

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Chianti, Tuscany

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