Castiglion del Bosco Prima Pietra
July 19, 2016, James Suckling
“Solid core of fruit in this wine with cherry, blackberry and lemon character. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Direct and focused young red. Bordeaux blend. Better in 2018.”
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.
Sourced from the estate located in Riparbella, on the Tuscan coast, Prima Pietra is structure and elegance personified, an eloquent expression of the exceptional quality of its terroir.
The grapes are sourced from the Riparbella area where the soil profile is abundant pebble-gravel and iron-rich clays and the elevation ranges between 350 to 450 meters. The vineyards are on a Guyot training system. Careful selection of the cluster and grape is carried out before the manual rasping process. Alcoholic fermentation without the addition of commercial yeast occurs in conical wooden vats which are filled by gravity alone, without recours to mechanical pumps. The wine remains in contact with the skins for 20 days at a temperature of 82.4°F, separately for each variety. Frequent manual stirring ensure the extraction of aroma and color from the skins without damaging their integrity.
At the end of the fermentation process the grapes are pressed directly into the vats with an inner tube, in order to obtain a complex, velvety wine. Malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels (50% of them new). Wood aging lasts for 18 months with periodical barrel decanting being carried out by gravity alone. The wine spends at least six months in the bottle before release on the market.
The bouquet is full and nearly endless, with fragrances of wild red berry melding into delicate notes of spice. The palate is complex, displaying impressive extractive depth and tannins that are dense, smooth, and glossy.
After a winter with colder temperatures than average, the budding started. The end of spring and summer months were warm and dry, resulting in limited grape growth and low production per vine. However, the quality was very high, with good acidity levels and exceptional tannins. The harvest ended 10 days earlier than usual.
Excellent with red meat and game.
Varietals: 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot
Wine Alcohol: 13.5%
Soil Composition: Pebble-gravel and iron-rich clays
New Oak: 50%
Aging: 18 months in French oak barriques
Suggested Retail Price: $72.99