Well, after the Tenuta Nuova 2010, I absolutely had to tell you about the other Brunello 2010 that has also been awarded by Robert Parker with the stratospheric rating 100 out of 100, the Madonna delle Grazie by Il Marroneto, this one the very beautiful estate belonging to the volcanic Alessandro Mori. This would not be at all a hypothetic comparison, that I personally detest, but I feel bound to write about it, since both of these wines have shared the prestigious recognition and since it’s the first time that two wines with the same Appellation and the very same vintage come so far. So, who are Il Marroneto and its deus ex machina?
The son of a very successful attorney who started himself off a brilliant forensic career, Alessandro Mori left the laws and codes to become winegrower on a full time basis in the small estate that his family had bought in 1974, settled on the north of Montalcino area, just below the little church of Madonna delle Grazie. In fact, the pioneering start of Mori family as producers, involved so much the young Alessandro that, a few years later, he realized that his future life would be there, in the winery. And in the vineyards, of course, planted only with the Sangiovese old clones with an absolutely low density, which allows the plants to “breathe”. As a matter of fact, Alessandro does not work much in the vineyard, apart from cutting the grass, and for this the vineyard could be defined as ‘organic’, that is based on maximum naturalness, without any practice similar to a witchcraft or obsessive run-up for certifications…The very healty grapes allows Alessandro to maintain this naturalness in the cellar too, so he completely bans selected yeasts, pumping over, clarifications, etc. A winery that looks like an artist’s studio, small but tidy, clean but anything but sterile, dominated by the 25 hl casks and three Allier trunk-conical vats that are exclusively used for the fermentation of the Brunello ‘selection’ (the Madonna delle Grazie), and the rest is fermented in stainless steel vats, that in the last years replaced the vitrified-cement ones. The fermentations, in contrast with the actual tendencies, are rather short and not bridled by the man as regarding the temperature. In fact, Alessandro is absolutely against any form of climate-conditioning in the cellar and he believes that, above all during the aging in the casks, the wine should “feel” the seasons. Speaking of the casks, there are many different types, some older than 30 years, but perfectly “working”, as Alessandro shows me while tapping the wine from them. The Brunello ages there for about 40 months before the inevitable refining in the bottles. Because “the wine ages in the wood but it becomes elegant in the glass”. It’s useless to add that all the processes are strictly manual, including bottling – gravity filling and without any filtering – to finish with labeling. And it is the same ‘attorney’ that does most of the operations by himself, but, where his knowledge arrives to the limit, there is the consult of Paolo Vagaggini: more as supervisor than enological guide.
A further confirmation of Alessandro’s obsession for quality comes from the fact that Il Marroneto could produce 60.000 bottles of Brunello, but they limit production to 30.000, both labels included…
Madonna delle Grazie 2010
As all great wines, this Brunello is unquestionably still very young and not very easy to ‘read’. In fact, the nose appears a bit insistent, with sharp sensation that leads to a thick plaiting of fruity and balsamic notes. Moreover, it is so concentrated to result almost impenetrable, even if indisputably elegant. Fortunately, the mouth has no lacking in expressivity, quite the opposite… It is very juicy, very intense and, although the sensation of insistency comes back, this time you understand it is a matter of incredibly huge energy, but still imprisoned, yet to be expressed. However, the perfect acidity support, the most elegant vertical progression and powerful and tasty finish reveals its value today: fruity and mineral, fresh and sapid. As much fine as authoritative wine, to be left forgotten in the cellar today, but that will become great tomorrow.
A really great Brunello, maybe not for everybody, at least not today, but a Brunello that makes you think over a lot, and only then you understand its extraordinary value. And I’m sure that it’s not an exploit, but a sort of right recognition to the producer, who has always worked very well, though he has never been applauded too much by the critics. Unjustly. However, I’m equally sure Alessandro won’t stop obtaining further successes thanks to many more exceptional Brunellos he will be able to donate us. All that in spite of my rating regarding this 2010, which is not lined up neither with Parker nor Tenuta Nuova. Hoping that Alessandro will not be angry with me…