Castiglion del Bosco Dainero
July 19, 2016, James Suckling
“A silky and very fine red with currant, berry and sandalwood character. Medium body, fine tannins. Subtle, fruity finish. Drink now or hold.”
Castiglion del Bosco is one of the most prominent producers in Montalcino, both for the history of the estate and for its size, with 5,000 acres unchanged in the last 400 years. In 1967, when the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino was born, Castiglion del Bosco was one of its 25 founding members. This extraordinary property whose origin dates back to the 12th century was acquired by Massimo Ferragamo in 2003, who in turn totally restored the property to its original glory.
The grapes for Dainero are grown in the Riparbella area along the Tuscan coast, in a vineyard that receives beneficial breeze from the Mediterranean sea. The soil profile has abundant pebble-gravel and iron-rich clays, elevation is 450 meters, and the training system used is Guyot.
Careful hand selection of the cluster and grapes is carried out before pressing. The wine vats are filled by gravity alone, without resorting to mechanical pumps. Alcoholic fermentation lasts for 15 days in steel tanks at a constant temperature of 82.4°F. After the malolactic fermentation Dainero is transferred to French oak barriques (30% new oak barrels, 70% first and second passage barriques) for 6 months. The full maturation requires another 6 months of bottle aging, after which the wine is released on the market.
The entire vinification process is carried out in Castiglion del Bosco’s cellar, completely gravity-fed. The grapes are quality-selected in the vineyards first, then the clusters travel to sorting tables where trained eyes make a further selection of the finest fruit. Fermentation starts with natural yeasts only, once completed, the wines are transferred to French oak in a spacious, climate-controlled cellar that is partially underground.
Dainero is a finely-balanced wine and releases intense notes of fruit and spice. It is full-bodied and well-rounded in the mouth.
The vintage 2013 at the Prima Pietra estate gave a full and fruity merlot. The annual rainfall of 620mm was abundant during the vegetative growth, less frequent during the ripening of the fruit, and then abundant again after the harvest. The optimal temperature range in August and September gave slow and continuous ripening, contributing to the finesse and persistence of aromas. The delay in harvesting (10 days) enhanced the influence of the soil, giving a great complexity to the grapes.
Excellent with pasta dishes with meat sauces and tomatoes, red meat and medium aged cheeses.
Varietals: 100% Merlot
Wine Alcohol: 13.5%
Soil Composition: Pebble-gravel and iron-rich clays