The San Filippo estate resides in the coveted eastern side of Montalcino, close to the prized vineyards of famed estate and creator of Brunello di Montalcino, Biondi-Santi. Amidst the scenic rolling hills of Tuscany and the yellow cornfields of the Val d’Orcia, the surrounding landscape has been declared a World Heritage site by Unesco. The quality of San Filippo’s wines has made quantum leaps since its inception in 1972 and most significantly once it was purchased by Roberto Giannelli in 2000. Roberto pumped new blood into the estate, restoring and renovating all of the buildings and revamping the wine production. 26 acres of vineyards are planted to Sangiovese Grosso (a clone of Sangiovese used in Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino), Merlot and Syrah on mostly clay soils. With the help of winemaker, Paolo Caciorgna, Roberto produces 2500 cases of Brunello aged in Slavonian and Allier oak casks each year, as well as 800 cases of Rosso di Montalcino which is aged 6 months in used barriques and large casks. His portfolio of wines show the extra structure and intensity that is common in this eastern corner of the appellation.
This Rosso di Montalcino is what we would call a ‘baby Brunello’, not only because it is made with the same clone of Sangiovese known as ‘Sangiovese Grosso’, but also because it offers the complexity, structure and longevity as its more distinguished counterpart. Aromas are dynamic and concentrated, hinting at plum compote, blackberry, anise and roasted game while flavors on the palate highlight sun-baked earth, Herbs de Provence, black pepper and black current. The medium to full-bodied palate showcases grippy tannins that will definitely soften with time and could also be tamed with something hearty and savory like a grilled, roasted greens-stuffed flank steak!