"Dare I say, a modernday renaissance? What’s more, there is still remarkable value to be found in Brunello; and with a vintage like 2016 in front of us, consumers are in for a real treat.” ERIC GUIDO, VINOUS
There is nothing more exciting than introducing a new estate. New to us, that is – Ridolfi traces its history back to 1290.
We have long kept close tabs on Brunello di Montalcino.
In Ridolfi, we have found just what we were after: a quality-minded estate with finesse at its heart. This is a property on a steep upward trajectory.
Tasting the wines from botti in the barrel cellar was a superb experience, which I hope comes through in our launch offer (see here).
We are so excited to introduce this new C&B exclusivity.
History and the estate
The estate’s history traces back to 1290. Three Ridolfi families stem from an ancient Tuscan lineage. One of these – the Ridolfi of Borgo – originated the Sienese branch called “dalla Contrada”. That is the Ridolfi family that gives their name and crest to this estate in Montalcino.
The estate was bought in 2011 by Giuseppe Valter Peretti, owner of the Rocchetto estate in Larciano in Chianti, about twenty kilometres south of Pistoia. 2014 Gianni Maccari joined as winemaker after a long time (14 years) working at the esteemed Poggio di Sotto. He is now joined by his son Filippo who has just finished his winemaking and vineyard studies. 2021 this estate was named by the Gambero Rosso as one of Italy’s “up and coming estates”.
The Estate is situated in the locality of “Mercatali”, which during the 5th and 6th centuries marked the hub of a large annual market. In fact, a three-floor section made of stone that dates back to that era is still preserved in one of the farmhouses. It rises on the slope of a hill in the very heart of Tuscany, 300 metres above sea level near the famous “Brunello Road”.
The estate comprises 30 hectares of land, 11.4 of which dedicated to Brunello vines, 6.5 hectares to Chianti Colli Senesi and 1 hectare to Rosso di Montalcino, plus 700 olive trees of the Correggiolo variety.
2016 Vintage notes
2016 started with a high level of rain in January and February. March was cooler than average. Budbreak started mid-March.
April was cool but also dry. The end of April into May was rainy, more than average then June continued to be wet. Luckily, temperatures were cooler than usual,
which slowed the growth of the vines. This, along with breeze, kept potential rot at bay. 2016 had very even temperatures (warm but never overly hot) and no dramatic swings, other than the strong, healthy, shifts between day and night. This saw healthy maturation of fruit. Late summer and early autumn continued with moderate temperatures and dry conditions. There was a large rainstorm in mid-September. Fortunately, this did not pose too big a problem as producers in warmer sub regions could pick just before these rains, others could wait for calm to return.
2015 Vintage notes
You can understand this when you look at the key elements. It was warmer than 2014 (not tricky) and with much less rain (also not difficult). The water reserves were topped up during the winter. The water table helped the vines through the dry, warm and sunny summer. Crucially this was balanced by cool night temperatures and just the right amount of rain when needed. It was then dry and relatively cool leading up to harvest. A healthy and ripe crop resulted.
Brunello di Montalcino Ridolfi 2016
Fermented and macerated for 60 days in stainless steel tanks at a temperature of 26 degrees. The ageing is 36 months in large Slavonian oak barrels and then at least 12 months of bottle ageing. Clear translucent colour again with red and tawny. Wonderful lifted, almost airy nose. Some red fruit, some more degraded fruits. Notes of warm soil and Christmas spices. Very complex. Lovely texture, a good bit of grip (by stealth). Some tar and warmer fruits with a certain sweetness. Properness to the structure, good acidity and a very complete long finish. Splendid. 14%
Corney & Barrow Score 18
Recommended drinking from 2023 - 2030+
HK$410 PER BOTTLE
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Mercatale Ridolfi 2015
Fermented and macerated for 60 days in stainless steel tanks at a temperature of 26 degrees. The ageing is 55 months in large Slavonian oak barrels and then at least 12 months of bottle ageing. Very pale, tawny more than anything. A resinous intensity strikes me and belies the pale, elegant colour. A real sweetness to the nose, a lift then a slight tang of mint and some herbs. “Refined pungency” my notes read. More weight comes through on the palate, succulent. There’s a real intense red fruit and freshness to the palate. Good acidity, “good to go” from now. 14%
Corney & Barrow Score 18+
Recommended drinking from 2022 - 2029
HK$730 PER BOTTLE
Brunello di Montalcino Donna Rebecca Ridolfi 2016
The best selection of grapes which are picked, fermented and aged separately. Winemaking Vinification Intégrale process with full berries placed in specific small barrels expressly made by Tonnellerie Baron. Fermented and macerated for 90 days at a controlled temperature of 26 degrees. Daily bâtonnage through barrel rotation. 30 months in barriques and 18 months in bottle. A different H6 “beast” in a way. A fair bit more colour as expected, still translucent and bright. Warm herbs and spices, full mulled fruits but not lacking precision. This is a winter wine for when its horrid outdoors, it’s a wallowing wine. Iodine, menthol and almost a kick of quinine. The tannins are rounder and fuller. A wine for the hedonist. Sweet attack allied to good acidity and a “gourmand” finish. 15%
Corney & Barrow Score 17.5 - 18
Recommended drinking from 2022 - 2028
HK$860 PER BOTTLE