Under the guidance of the original owners, Willi and Doris Neukom, Montepeloso established itself as one of Tuscany’s most exciting estates, earning 5 stars from Robert Parker. In 1998, however, the estate was sold to Fabio Chiarelotto, a Swiss-Italian historian. Chiarelotto was entranced with the Neukom’s wines, but he was also convinced that they fell short of the terroir’s true potential. While a unique site is important for great wine, an inspired winemaker is also required. The introspective Chiarelotto had little interest in the guidance of fashionable enologists. He was determined to follow his own path— and he brought with him a clear vision of the singular wines he felt the estate could yield. Within a year of the purchase, Chiarelotto embarked on a dramatic overhaul of the vineyards— retraining or regrafting thousands of vines. He was willing to accept drastically reduced production for a few years if it would result in greater wines. In the cellar, Chiarelotto sought ways to soften the tannins, refine the aromatics, and better integrate the oak. With each succeeding vintage, he is getting closer to his ideal. Chiarelotto admits that it’s “easy to produce concentrated wines in such a hot climate…but it’s much harder to achieve elegance and finesse” This is what he strives for. Slowly, Chiarelotto is receiving the rewards of his passion. The buzz that has been spreading through Europe over the past few years has leapt the Atlantic. A growing number of collectors see Montepeloso’s wines as the most beautiful, profound, and expressive of the Tuscan New Wave.
The wines of Fabio Chiarelloto are some of the most highly praised coming out of Tuscany today. The A Quo is his baby and if you like Tuscany best, I also highly recommend seeking out Eneo and Nardo, both receiving huge scores by Robert Parker but at a higher price point. This red is one of the great buys coming out of Tuscany today, I strongly recommend while we have availability.
Nardo is a perfect expression of the Montepulciano, Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera vines grown on a strictly limited selection of the oldest terroirs. This uncompromising concentration on the finest grapes of each vintage produces a world-class Italian-Mediterranean wine of stupendous quality. Nardo is matured for 18 months in 40% new 400-litre barrels. Subsequently, the wine is matured for nine months in the bottle before being released for sale. Annual production is approximately 3500 bottles.
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