At the end of a recent tour of the Sesti property, we sat down to a multi-course dinner that was one of the best of my life. Dozens of wines were on the table, but the 2013 Brunello stood out the most. The purity of fruit was mesmerizing, and the complexity and structure conveyed to me a wine with a lot of Tuscan soul. Here’s an epic addition to your holiday table.
The perfume is truly regal: rich, fragrant, and balmy, exuding suggestions of earth, sweet spices, and pine forest. Dense, deep, and imposing on the palate, it is concentrated and fleshy, with tannins as thick and chewy as a well-seasoned bistecca. In fact, serve with said bistecca, or—alternatively—stash away for a long, long time.
Steve’s Pick At the end of a recent tour of the Sesti property, we sat down to a multi-course dinner that was one of the best of my life. Dozens of wines were on the table, but the 2013 Brunello stood out the most. The purity of fruit was mesmerizing, and the complexity and structure conveyed to me a wine with a lot of Tuscan soul. Here’s an epic addition to your holiday table.
Giuseppe Sesti didn’t initially choose a career in wine. Instead, he was inspired to study music, art, and astronomy, the latter becoming his profession. He met his future wife in Wales while writing his first book, and in 1975 moved to Tuscany, purchasing the abandoned castle of Argiano, slowly restoring the breathtaking estate later planting his vineyards around the castle. In 1999 the Sesti’s daughter, Elisa, joined the estate full time, becoming a partner in all aspects of production. The Sesti lineup includes a white Sauvignon and a Rosato, but their Brunello, Brunello Riserva, and Rosso di Montalcino provide traditional expressions of the appellation, robust and powerful yet refreshing, with great aging potential.
Perhaps no region is tied to Italy’s reputation as a producer of fine wine as much as Tuscany. Since Etruscan times, viticulture has played a prominent role in this idyllic land of rolling hills, and the Tuscan winemaking tradition remains as strong as ever today. With a favorable Mediterranean climate, an undulating topography offering countless altitudes and expositions, and a wealth of poor, well-draining soils, conditions are ideal for crafting high-quality wines. Add to that the rich gastronomical tradition—Tuscany is home to some of the country’s finest game, pastas, salumi, and cheeses—and you have the blueprint for a world-class wine region.
This is Sangiovese territory; in fact, it is arguably the only place in the world where Sangiovese reaches a truly regal expression. In spite of a rocky history with fluctuations in quality, traditionally produced Chianti has reclaimed its status as one of the country’s most reliable, food-friendly reds, while the rapid rise of Brunello di Montalcino shows the grape’s potential for grandiose, opulent reds allying power and finesse. Traditionally-minded growers have stuck to using only indigenous grape varieties and employing techniques like aging in massive wooden casks known as botti, creating wines of terroir that shine at the Tuscan table.
Tuscan wines have had a place in our portfolio since Kermit’s first visit in 1977. While the names of the estates have changed, the spirit of those first unfiltered Chiantis he imported live on through our current selections.
For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.
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