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The Other Wine from Montalcino

by Tom Wolf

2016 Rosso di Montalcino

Sesti   Italy   |   Tuscany   |  Rosso di Montalcino

$39.00

If there is one defining feature of Italian cuisine, it might be the remarkable deliciousness that is so often crafted from simplicity. Think about the best margherita pizza you’ve ever had. Or pasta. Or cured meats. Italians have proven definitively that pleasure and soulfulness do not depend on grandiosity—they can frequently be found in simple ingredients, expertly prepared, and shared joyfully.
     Rosso di Montalcino is not, on the surface, a very complex wine. Made from 100% Sangiovese, at the southern tip of Tuscany, it often stands humbly in the shadow of Brunello di Montalcino. But while Brunello has earned its global spotlight—it is certainly the more flamboyant sibling—Rosso di Montalcino can be extremely charming on its own terms. Just as with the best-made cured prosciutto, where you wonder, “How is this so immediately delicious, yet layered in flavor using so few and such basic ingredients?” you might find yourself asking the same of Sesti’s Rosso.
     Founded by the Venetian astronomer Giuseppe Sesti, and now run primarily by his daughter Elisa, this domaine has in the span of three decades risen to the top of Montalcino traditionalists. At a recent staff tasting, their Rosso di Montalcino stole the show. Deceptively modest and sophisticated at the same time, full of both pleasure and soul, the Rosso is ready to drink now. Red berries, tobacco, and mint give way to the slightest hint of umami—think roasted tomato—on the finish. Speaking of which, this wine is perfect for tomato-based dishes. Try it with the traditional Tuscan dish pappa al pomodoro, a funghi pizza, or a plain ol’ burger with ketchup or a slice of tomato.


$39.00

More from this Producer or Region

About Tuscany

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.

More from Tuscany or Italy

2012 Brunello di Montalcino

Podere Sante Marie  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Brunello di Montalcino

$105.00

2012 Chianti Classico Riserva

Villa Di Geggiano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Chianti Classico Riserva

$45.00

2012 Alta Valle Della Greve “80”

Podere Campriano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  IGT Alta Valle della Greve

$57.00

2013 Toscana Rosso “Salita”

Castagnoli  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  IGT Toscana

$60.00

2016 Bandinello Toscana

Villa Di Geggiano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Toscana IGT

$23.00

2014 Orcia Rosso “Selvarella”

Podere Sante Marie  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Orcia

$35.00

2013 Brunello di Montalcino

Sesti  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Rosso di Montalcino

$105.00
$30.00

2014 Chianti Classico Riserva

Podere Campriano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Chianti Classico Riserva

$42.00

2015 Chianti Classico

Castagnoli  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Chianti Classico

$29.00

2014 Chianti Classico

Podere Campriano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Chianti Classico

$30.00

2015 Chianti Classico

Villa Di Geggiano  Italy  |  Tuscany  |  Chianti Classico

$30.00

Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.

Inspiring Thirst, page 312

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Warnings


Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol


Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa