Castiglion del Bosco Prima Pietra
September 20, 2017, Bruce Sanderson
“Packed full of plum and black cherry flavors, with hints of chocolate, wild herb and tar. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.”
August 28, 2017, James Suckling
“Plenty of ripe fruit and black olive character. Full body, chewy and powerful. This is a little overdone but there’s plenty through the walls of tannins. Drink in 2011.”
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.
The vintage 2013 represents the most typical maturation features that characterize each variety: fruity and round for Merlot, intense and rich for Cabernet Sauvignon, harmonious and elegant for Cabernet Franc, thick and intense for Petit Verdot. The annual rainfall reached 620mm, and was well distributed throughout the year: more abundant during the vegetative growth, less frequent during the ripening of the fruit, and abundant again after the harvest. In August and September, a temperate climate enabled gradual and continuous maturation as well as finesse and persistence of aroma. The delay in harvesting (10 days) further enhanced the influence of terroir, giving a great complexity to the grapes.
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