“With our wines, we intend to transmit our love for the land and for the pleasure of living.” ~ Bruna Baroncini
When you think Tuscan wines, Chianti, Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano all come to mind. Sangiovese is what connects all these wines. Bruna Baroncini is determined to make the best expressions of Sangiovese throughout all her estates in Tuscany. Passionate and brilliant, Bruna Baroncini, under the umbrella of Tenuta Toscane, is producing some exceptional wines in Tuscany. Today we will focus on her Montalcino estate, Poggio Il Castellare.
The Baroncini’s have a rich history in winemaking in Tuscany. The Libera Itatuma, the historical archives of San Gimignano, date the family history back 500+ years to 1489. Today that family history and tradition in winemaking continues with Bruna and her nephew Samuele.
Bruna has had a very personal journey with Sangiovese as she has acquired vineyards throughout Tuscany in Maremma, Chianti, Montalcino and Montepulciano. Bruna very poetically says managing Sangiovese is like managing a man, you must first understand the characteristics of a man and then you will understand the many expressions of Sangiovese. In her interpretation, she says Morellino di Scansano is like a boy, immature, young and curious. Montepulciano is a young man with all the possibilities of the world to discover. Chianti is a man in adulthood with a combination of power, softness, and persistence. Lastly, there is Brunello di Montalcino, where a man has reached full maturity with balance and confidence, it knows the best is yet to come with the potential for an exceptionally long life. This is Bruna’s philosophy and relationship with Sangiovese.
Poggio Il Castellare
Poggio Il Castellare is Bruna’s beloved and most ambitious property. The Baroncini family purchased the Montalcino property in 1998, which is located in Torrenieri on the northeast side of the region, near the seaside. There are forty hectares of land of which seven are organic vineyards. They aim to protect the biodiversity of the region and the surrounding areas. They have a strong passion for the land, a passion for the process of growing the best possible grapes and excelling in the winemaking process. At Poggio Il Castellare, you will taste an interesting representation of the traditional Sangiovese grape variety from Montalcino as well as international varietals that are thoughtfully introduced into their wines in Cervio and Passo dei Caprioli. These wines make Poggio Il Castellare very special, as it is extraordinary to see not only Sangiovese but also see unique interpretations of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Bruna is the force behind Poggio Il Castellare, she is adept and a smart businesswoman. Her passion begins with her heart and the land, as she is enamored with Montalcino. Throughout Montalcino, you will see expensive cellars and expensive packaging but nothing can take the place of a great vineyard, that is well maintained, well worked, and picked at the proper time. Bruna is passionate about quality more than publicity and marketing. She is very low-key and puts all her efforts into producing quality products. These efforts were rewarded when in 2004 Wine Spectator gave her then-unknown wine 96 points.
A family tradition with the Baroncini family is for the women to make the wines. Starting from the vineyards and arriving into the bottle. The entire process is made by the women of the Baroncini family. The men of the family have the role to sell the wines. This has been the historic tradition of the Baroncini family. All the wines of Tenuta Toscane and Poggio ail Castellare have strong female influence.
Poggio Il Castellare Rosso Di Montalcino 2018 – (Retail $30)
Rosso di Montalcino 2018 was a very good vintage. The wine is made from 100% Sangiovese from the same grapes used to produce the Brunello Di Montalcino. This is a fantastic Rosso, a baby Brunello at its best. A gorgeous deep ruby red hue shines in the glass. It is a stunning wine that is fresh with red currants and rhubarb on the nose. On the palate, it has crunchy fruit with a bit of salinity. The wine is lively till the finish, full of fruit and supple tannins. This is not a simple Rosso, it is an interesting and complex wine that has depth and integrity,
Poggio Il Castellare Brunello Di Montalcino 2016 – (Retail $70)
2016 is the latest vintage of Brunello made with 100% Sangiovese Grosso. This is the most important wine of the property, produced from the best vineyards. Poggio Il Castellare Brunello represents all aspects of Sangiovese in terms of acidity, tannins and age-ability. There is an intense ruby red hue with aromas of cherries, truffle, cedar, white pepper and eucalyptus on the nose. In the mouth, the wine is dense, compact and persistent. There is balance and harmony with rich fruit, bright acidity and complex tannins. Even in its youth, Poggio Il Castellare Brunello is extraordinary.
Poggio Il Castellare Passo dei Caprioli Montalcino 2019 – (Retail $20)
Here we change gears a bit with a mix of international varieties. The Passo dei Caprioli is a blend of 70% Sangiovese with 30% Merlot, creating a very drinkable wine with deep fruit flavors. The Merlot gives you softness on the palate while the Sangiovese adds spiciness. The bit of Merlot gives you a smooth velvety feel on the palate with softer tannins. There are beautiful aromas of black cherries, blueberries of violets. Flavors of pomegranate, tobacco and white pepper coat the mouth. This is a lovely easy-drinking wine that is approachable and food-friendly.
Poggio Il Castellare Cervio Sant’Antimo 2014 – $80
Cervio is a wine that is meant for long aging. It is produced from the Cru vineyard Sant’Antimo, in the hills of Montalcino. A very Bolgheri-esque style of wine. Produced entirely from Cabernet Sauvignon, it is gentle yet spicy. Thyme, blackberries, and black currant engulf the nose. It is very juicy on the palate with nice fruit, salinity and minerality. It is a rich Cabernet with smooth tannins. The wine is a beautiful expression of Cabernet Sauvignon from Montalcino, one that is seductive and captivating. Cervio has a cult-like following with only 6000 bottles produced.
***Photos Courtesy of Poggio Il Castellare***