World Wine Wanderings: Castello Tricerchi, Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Last year in June we enjoyed a three week trip around Italy as a family. It was pure magic! Today we were to visit Castello Tricerchi in Montalcino.

It was our kids first international experience, a great time to connect with great friends and a wonderful way for me to expand my World Wine Wanderings research!

My family were very obliging to allow frequent wine farm visits on the trip – as long as there was good food, a beautiful view or a friendly dog to keep them company! (and we tried to space these visits out as much as possible so as to not bore the 12 and 9 year old too much!)

Italy for me is about cheese and wine and historical castles perched on top hills with dramatic driveways lined with cypress trees.

While taking a drive from our accommodation in Cavriglia, Tuscany we found ourselves winding down country roads lined with green abundance, then up and over rolling hills.

Around every corner was a surprise and none more magical then when we happened across a typical castle (fortress) estate which we were to learn was Castello Tricerchi in the hill town of Montalcino in the province of Sienna and first occupied in AD 1441! Hard to take your mind back that far!

Honestly, it was so hot we just needed something to drink and somewhere to sit in the shade and take in the scenery for 5 minutes.

I remember this little journey so well because when we arrived there was no one around, the building was seemingly abandoned despite some minor evidence of upkeep.

Looking up to the stairs on the beautiful courtyard at castello tricerchi

Pouring out the car like molten wax, we looked around and stumbled into this stunning courtyard.

Entering the courtyard we were astonished at how beautiful it was. Star jasmine crept up the walls emitting the most mesmerising fragrance and pots of manicured roses and geraniums confirmed signs of life.

This is the type of courtyard where I would love to host an evening of wine and dancing. Imagine!

Beautiful view looking back at the gated entrance to the medieval castello tricerchi

Stunning courtyard at the entrance to castello tricerchi

With seemingly no one around, we walked up the stairs and into the house, greeted by a large, lazy white dog cooling his stomach on the ancient clay tiles.

Now that I think about it, this was maybe not the best idea, but, as luck would have it just up the stairs and to the right was a tasting room, for wine!

With what appeared to be the owners telling stories to a group of tourists I took a seat in front of an open window through which a light breeze blew just a hint of coolness.

Contemplating the wines in the wine tasting room at castello tricerchi

Medieval steel bar window overlooking the vineyards at castello tricerchi

View through the wine tasting room overlooking the vineyards of castello tricerchi

This is the view from the window. Such a timeless, beautiful landscape!

Now for the wine tasting.

This region is known as the home of Brunello red wine.

Brunello wines are specific to this little town of Montalcino, and it was initially thought to be a separate grape varietal, but later was determined to be 100% Sangiovese.

There is a slight difference in that it is the ‘Grosso Clone’ which has a berry with a thicker skin than those of Chianti, producing wine with higher tannin and higher acidity, making it perfect for cellar ageing.

To be classified as a true Brunello, this wine has to age for a minimum of 5 years in total, 2 of which are in oak and minimum of 4 months in the bottle.

For the wine tasting we started with the Iuli’o IGP Toscana 2013. Their entry level wine, consisting of 100% Sangiovese aged for 4 months in French Oak. Its youth brings light fresh fruit and vanilla spice notes with a medium body and light tannin on the palate.

Next up, the Rosso Di Montalcino 2017 is a 100% Sangiovese aged in large 20hl Slovenian durmast oak barrels for at least 9 months and at least 4 months in the bottle before release. Slovenian oak has a less fine grain and results in less intensity and structure than French oak. The large format cast means the influence of the oak is more subtle allowing for sweeter aromas and softer wine.

A medium-body red, the nose is fruity and fresh with hints of cherry jam. Subtle mineral notes with equally subtle spice on the palate and a soft tannin, this is a lovely easy drinking summer wine.

A bottle o brunello di montalcino and a bottle of rosso di montalcino from castello tricerchi

 

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When we were in Italy last year we happened upon this stunning castle in Montalcino called @castellotricerchi while on a day trip in #tuscany . Brunello, specific to this little town of Montalcino, was initially thought to be a separate grape varietal but was determined to in fact be 100% #sangiovese . There is a slight difference in that it is the ‘Grosso Clone’ which has a berry with a thicker skin than those of Chianti, producing wine with higher tannin and higher acidity, making it perfect for cellar ageing. Brunello has to age for a minimum of 5 years in total, 2 of which are in oak and minimum of 4 months in the bottle. I am open to any correction from anyone reading this as this is based on my research! To start, the Iuli’o IGP Toscana 2013. Their entry level wine, consisting of 100% Sangiovese aged for 4 months in French Oak. Its youth brings light fresh fruit and vanilla spice notes with a medium body and light tannin on the palate. Next up, the Rosso Di Montalcino 2017 is a 100% Sangiovese aged in large 20hl Slovenian durmast oak barrels for at least 9 months and at least 4 months in the bottle before release. Slovenian oak has a less fine grain and results in less intensity and structure than French oak. The large format cast means the influence of the oak is more subtle allowing for sweeter aromas and softer wine. A medium-body red, the nose is fruity and fresh with hints of cherry jam. Subtle mineral notes with equally subtle spice on the palate and a soft tannin, this is a lovely easy drinking summer wine. Last, but certainly not least, the 2013 Brunello di Montalcino. Aged for 30 months in 15 and 20hl Slovenian oak and at least 8!months in the bottle this was a more structured, meaty, full mouth feel compared to the others as a result of time in the barrel. Defined fruit, white spice and leather notes follow through beautifully on the palate. Lovely dark berry and chocolate finishing off with firm tannin towards the end. I felt really spoilt to have tasted #brunello In this magical hilltop castle. #lockdownsa #winememories #italianwines #italianwinelover #italianwinery #montalcino #travelwithme

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Last, but certainly not least, the 2013 Brunello di Montalcino. Aged for 30 months in 15 and 20hl Slovenian oak and at least months in the bottle this was a more structured, meaty, full mouth feel compared to the others as a result of time in the barrel. Defined fruit, white spice and leather notes follow through beautifully on the palate. Lovely dark berry and chocolate finishing off with firm tannin towards the end.

Castello Tricerchi was a treat to the senses, with superb views and stunning wines, I will definitely be looking to revisit!

Ciao.

Check out some other amazing wine farms we visited on our Italian adventure:
Quercerto di Castellina
Coffele Viticoltori
Castel del Piano

Brad Rossiter
Brad Rossiter

Enjoying the pleasures of good food, family, friends and wine, always wine!

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