Admittedly, I’m no expert on these matters. But I have a good sense about things that lie beneath the rational explanation. And at Le Chiuse I sensed a powerful epicenter for one of the most important wines to come out of Italy, maybe the world.
“We are planted to the BS clone,” Nicolò explains. I couldn’t quite understand what he meant and my travel mate, tired from jetlag and a harrowed from driving a faulty Fiat, asked him what the clone was, repeatedly. Patiently, Nicolò explained “BS” meant the Biondi-Santi clone. He moved us around the eight hectare vineyard where an entrance to the winery sheltered us from the bone-chilling mist.
Once he led us to the table with wines, ranging from the latest 2011 on through to the 2000 Riserva, I knew we were in an historic place.
Le Chiuse is my voyage up the Congo River. Montalcino is part gentry and part savage. Maybe that’s the thrill Brunello has for me. It isn’t Mouton, but it can be as compelling, and often as confounding. There is that tinge of wildness that makes the great wines sing for me like the little owl outside my window. It’s really the essence of beauty, unaware of itself. Simply expressing its nature. Call it the source, call it the mother of Brunello, or not. But what a gift to listen to the song, see the fog lift and have Montalcino reveal itself after all these years. Finally.
Lovely wines... Thank you Nicolò.
written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
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