The image of an older gentleman walking along the cypress-lined avenue of Il Greppo in Montalcino dressed in the typical Italian ‘casentino’ coat is arguably one of the most famous photographs of Franco Biondi Santi. The owner of Tenuta Il Greppo, who passed away in April 2013, was considered a fiercely traditional winemaker of Brunello di Montalcino. His wines were always austere and fresh, with an outstanding ability to age.
Tasting Biondi Santi Riservas:
Tenuta Il Greppo is recognisable for its 18th century villa covered in a climbing web of ampelopsis. It rises on the southeast slope of Montalcino, at an altitude of between 385 and 507 metres. The winery was bought in 2017 by Paris-based Européenne de Participations Industrielles (EPI), owned by the French Descours family (Charles Heidsieck, Piper-Heisieck). The new ownership aspires to express the same style as the old patriarch.
The estate has recently started working with legendary agronomist Pedro Parra. Across the 26ha of the estate, plus an additional 7ha purchased in September 2019, 33 different plots were analysed. From those, 12 different selections were chosen and several new casks of different sizes (mostly made by Garbellotto) were put to use.
‘The aim is to maintain the same traditional expression of Franco Biondi Santi using the innovations that we have access to today,’ explained Radi. And this first step, to be honest, proves to be impressively on par with Franco’s style.