Il Marroneto was founded in 1974 by Giuseppe Mori. Son Alessandro Mori joined the estate immediately, creating the first vintage in 1980. The estate is located in the higher elevations of the cooler northern zone of Montalcino, and is one of the older estates in the appellation. Traditional in style and adhering to a philosophy of minimal intervention in the vineyard and cellar, Il Marroneto foregoes conventional methods. Focusing on the health of the vine through spacing and nutrient-rich topsoil, Mori eschews the use of chemicals, allows only native ferments and ages in large oak cask.
Alessandro Mori’s Brunellos are some of the most long-lived in Montalcino. Madonna delle Grazie is the 13th century church on the estate for which it takes its name. The estate’s 5.8 hectares have been planted in stages: The first 10% in the 1975, an additional 10% in the 1977, and the rest in the winter between 1982-1983. Elevation of the vineyard sits at 400 meters above sea level, and soils are an intricate mix of mostly sand large stone of limestone and galestro.
This wine is produced from a special selection of Sangiovese to create the estate’s “grand cru” Brunello, first bottled in 2000. The 35-year old vines have been planted with ample vine spacing of 3400 per hectare. Twenty day native ferments are standard, with pump overs when Alessandro decides. The wine is aged in 2600-liter French cask for 41 months, and further refined in bottle for six months. Alessandro no longer produces a Brunello Riserva bottling.
The northern zone of Montalcino is characterized by high elevation, steep slopes, and cool temperatures. These conditions are idea for creating Brunellos of significant ageing potential, showing complexity, increased aromatics, classic tannic structure and nervy acidity. Madonna delle Grazie displays elaborate florality interplayed with aromas of earth underfoot. Bright cherry, leathery-tones, and pulsating acidity offer the backbeat to the complex perfumes. Expect a precise and pure example of Sangiovese.
Sangiovese’s high natural acidity and complex tannic structure make it an admirable ally to a range of hearty meat or game dishes. Go the traditional route with braised short ribs or Osso Bucco, but don’t be hesitant. Brunello benefits from a straightforward pairing, no artifice – as the Tuscans prefer. Bean and kale soup, papparedelle, or an aged pecorino, are resoundingly local choices.