Recently I was asked if I’d be interested in samples from Montecucco. My first thought was, “Monte-what?” I had never heard of this appellation within Tuscany! So of course I was curious and had to try them. Now, the two that are featured here may not yet be available in the U.S., but consider this your inside look, because when they are, you should snap them up.
Montecucco lies between the Morellino di Scansano and Brunelli di Montalcino appellations, within the larger Tuscany appellation. Sangiovese is the main red grape in Montecucco and it is the most multi-tasking grape out there. You know it as the main grape in Chianti, and also Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and many other wines outside of Tuscany. And now you know it for the red wines of Montecucco.
Sangiovese ages really well, but can also be enjoyed young. Take a look at these two beauties:
Podere Montale Montecucco Sangiovese DOCG 2015 ($24) Busting loose with blackberries, bramble berries, cherry pie filling dried thyme and a little bit of anise. The oak definitely comes through in a little kiss of vanilla. It’s a big, deep, structured wine that echoes a New World style, with the lush fruit elbowing its way to the front.
If you like California Zin or Merlot, I think you would love this wine! I had it with veal stew and it was a perfect pairing. It would be great with pizza or any red sauce / meat sauce pasta dish, too. It drinks like a slinky, satiny river of fruit, earth, sunshine and oak. More info here.
Peteglia Montecucco Sangiovese Riserva 2015 ($18) Ooooh, come to mama! I luuuuuved this wine, because it was really Old World / Italian in style, with black cherries and freshly turned earth, underlined with a little white pepper, roasted fennel and dried herbs. SO GOOD with a simple bowl of spaghetti and Rao’s meat sauce. There is real restraint on the wood use, so the earthiness and fruit are in great balance. It’s a big, juicy, well-structured red wine that can take on a red sauce, sausages or a burger equally well. See more info here.
If you like Chianti or Rosso di Montalcino or other Italian reds, it would be hard not to love this wine.
I would say, ask your wine shop if they have any Italian wines from Montecucco, because aren’t we all craving a little adventure these days? Cheers!