The northern slopes of Montalcino have long been known for the fine structure, aromatic complexity and classical elegance of the wines they yield. It was in this celebrated corner of the renowned appellation that the Ridolfi winery – founded by one of the family’s Tuscan branches – was established in 1290, making it one of the oldest in the region. Nine centuries later, Ridolfi remains a stronghold of viticultural and winemaking excellence, epitomising the unique character of the region’s most prized wines, not least Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.
Experts on Sangiovese
Today, both viticultural and winemaking operations are led by Gianni Maccari, one of Montalcino’s most talented and experienced oenologists. Having honed his craft alongside Tuscany’s leading expert on Sangiovese, Giulio Gambelli, Maccari now applies his knowledge to the vineyards and wines of Ridolfi, acting as a custodian of Montalcino’s history and winemaking traditions.
‘I’ve done more than 30 harvests in Montalcino and no two have ever been the same,’ says Maccari. It is precisely this uniqueness of vintage and terroir that Maccari aims to capture in each bottle of Ridolfi, as he works to highlight Sangiovese’s elegance, transparency and nuanced expression of terroir. The vineyard is where much of the work happens, across the estate’s 21 hectares of Sangiovese vines which are tended with great care and have been certified organic since 2014.
These vines yield classical wines that pay homage to tradition, yet are a product of their own place and time; each wine and vintage is unique and unrepeatable. Descended from a long and illustrious lineage of wineries and vineyards that are producing some of the world’s most celebrated wines, Ridolfi produces its own interpretation of Montalcino, reflecting the specificity of its singular north-facing plots. These sites parent the estate’s Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and ‘Mercatale’ Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG.
Each parcel is harvested, vinified and aged separately, and this precise and terroir-based approach continues in the cellar.. After a year in big oak barrels, Maccari and his team taste the contents of each vessel and select the components for Rosso di Montalcino DOC. ‘The barrels which, at this stage, are more floral, fruit-forward and approachable will be the blending units for our Rosso di Montalcino – the estate’s calling card that introduces our style and philosophy to consumers,’ says Maccari.
On the other hand, the barrels that, one year on, are still closed and not yet fully expressing their potential, are left to age for another two years to eventually become the building blocks of Ridolfi’s Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.
The estate’s flagship label, the Mercatale Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, represents a step further in terroir expressiveness and age-worthiness. Only produced in exceptional vintages in very limited numbers, the wine ages up to 55 months in oak and captures the essence of the best harvests in a unique region. ‘We’ve dedicated our Brunello Riserva to the hamlet where Ridolfi was founded, Mercatale,’ explains Maccari. ‘It’s only produced in years in which we believe nature has delivered something truly singular and exceptional.’
From Montalcino to the world
‘Our story, tradition, terroir and, above all, our determination and expertise are represented, around the world, with the cooperation of the best commercial partners,’ says Arber Shabani, Commercial Director at Ridolfi. ‘Working closely with them, we introduce the world’s fine wine spheres not only to our wines but also to the essential values that have shaped the culture and traditions of Montalcino,’ he concludes.
From Europe to Australia, by way of North America and Asia, Ridofli wines can be found in more than 25 countries around the world. Sommeliers, wine buyers and collectors in some of the best restaurants, private clubs and specialised retailers have made this storied Brunello di Montalcino a global treasure. Salute!
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