This wine is the brainchild of my father who was inspired by the great white wines of Burgundy, feeling that this land could produce something of exceptional quality with the Chardonnay grape here in Tuscany. In the mid-1970s he decided to plant Chardonnay vines just outside the borders of the Chianti Classico denomination - in the vineyard known as “Il Salcio”. The first production of Chardonnay came with the historic 1990 vintage, and much like the great Burgundy of the time, was fermented entirely in wooden tanks. Since the year 2000, the volume of oak-fermented grapes has been steadily decreasing – now 70% of the grapes are fermented in stainless steel. The remaining grapes are fermented in oak tonneaux, on lees, for about 6 months before the wine is assembled and further refined in bottle for 1 year.
The 2019 growing season created an incredibly fresh, vibrant wine that will continue to gain tremendous complexity with further aging. After a cold winter, which allowed the vines to rest and shut down, the spring rains brought much needed water reserves to the soils. This was particularly crucial in 2019 as the summer was quite hot and dry. The slight delay in vegetative activity reminded me of the great vintages of the 1980s, that were hot but without huge heat spikes. It was a vintage where patience was rewarded with beautifully ripe clusters of high acidity. I am very excited for the potential of this vintage. This is its first offering to our U.S. mailing list, as our Chardonnay rarely sees release past our cellar door; however, I am pleased to share this wine with you to showcase how beautiful Tuscan Chardonnay can be in its youth and with further aging.
This vintage has yet to be released nor reviewed. Please find this latest vintage review – 2018 – by Monica Larner of Robert Parker Wine Advocate: “This wine has gone through a bit of a restyling since I last tasted it. The 2018 Chardonnay Collezione dai Vigneti di Monsanto Fabrizio Bianchi opens to a thick and buttery aromatic profile and full-bodied appeal. The wine wraps thickly over the palate with freshly baked morning cornetto and toasted almond. One-third of the wine is fermented in oak, and the rest goes into stainless steel. It finishes with just enough acidity to keep the wine real and energized. This is a good opportunity to try your hand at a typical Tuscan pancotto with clams and shrimp. The wine hits all the right spots, including an attractive price point. Some 25,000 bottles were made.” – 92 points