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Collemassari 'Melacci' Vermentino, Montecucco, Tuscany, Italy 2022

  • $18.00

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ColleMassari is the most important and largest estate of the Montecucco appellation. The vineyards are located on the Montecucco hill that gives name to the appellation.  Although it is a “new” DOCG, wine has been made in Montecucco since the time of the Etruscans in the 8th century. The wine making tradition is now continued by Maria Iris Bertarelli and Claudio Tipa, who purchased the vineyard in 1998.

  • Winemaker: Luca Marrone, Giovanni Puccioni
  • Farming: Organic
  • Variety: Vermentino
  • Terroir: The Castello ColleMassari winery is located in Cinigiano in the foothills of Monte Amiata, about 1050ft above sea level. Melacce is sourced from vineyards at 300 metres’ elevation, planted in sandstone soils and optimally exposed to marine breezes.
  • Vinification: Early harvested, pressed and fermented in stainless steel at low temperatures.
  • Aging: The wine matured sur lie for 4 months to increase its rounded mouthfeel and rich flavours. Bottled in February 2023. 90ppm total SO2.
  • Tasting Note: Melacce boasts the superb aromatic intensity classic to Vermentino; on the palate it is full-flavoured and beautifully balanced, showing near-endless length and appealing drinkability.

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ColleMassari Melacce Vermentino, Montecucco, Tuscany, Italy 2022
Castello ColleMassari is more than just a winery; it is a historical landmark reminiscent of a fortified hamlet, echoing its origins as a grancia—an agricultural hub founded by Cistercian monks (the term massari refers to the agricultural representatives pivotal to this medieval system). The winery sits perched in the foothills of Monte Amiata in, Tuscany, a region steeped in winemaking history dating back to the Etruscans of the 8th century. Today, under the stewardship of Maria Iris Bertarelli and Claudio Tipa, the estate has become the largest and most significant in Montecucco, a “newer” Tuscan appellation just southwest of Montalcino.
Melacce Vermentino is a product of a unique terroir. The vineyards are positioned at 300 meters above sea level, planted in fractured sandstone soils that benefit from coastal marine breezes blowing in from the Tyrrhenian Sea. These conditions, coupled with significant temperature fluctuations, impart a remarkable freshness and aromatic intensity to the wine. The grapes for Melacce are early harvested, gently pressed, and fermented in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures. This process preserves its delicate lemon-passionfruit aromas and highlights Vermentino’s vibrant acidity. The wine is then matured sur lie (on its yeast sediment) for four months, bringing out a mouthwatering texture and complexity. The wine is bursting with an aromatic bouquet of Mediterranean herbs, citrus blossoms, and a hint of sea breeze, capturing the essence of its coastal terroir. On the palate, ripe peach, green apple, and a touch of almond make it endlessly drinkable on warm California days. Consider pairing Melacce alongside a classic Tuscan panzanella salad, where its acidity complements the tomatoes and its herbal notes mirror the basil, or with grilled and lightly charred eggplant or zucchini, where the Vermentino’s freshness will lift the smoky flavors.
Protip: If you find yourself in Tuscany, ColleMassari is known for its hospitality. You can stay on property and wake up each morning surrounded by vines and olive groves, and perhaps you can even snag a tasting at their sister wineries: the Super Tuscan estate Grattamacco, or the renowned Brunello di Montalcino house Poggio di Sotto. — Cara Patricia, June 2024