I visited Martino Manetti in Radda last June and since then I've been anxiously awaiting to offer the 2014 vintage we tasted together. If I had to pick one wine to make the case for Sangiovese's greatness it would be Montevertine's Le Pergole Torte. Today, I'm so happy to offer the 2014, along with an array of back-vintages spanning through 1979.
2014 marks one of the latest harvests on record at Montevertine, concluding on October 19th. The cool growing season meant a long hang time with slow, even ripening. Manetti referred to this Le Pergole Torte as one of his favorites over the last two decades, as the wine was more reminiscent of the older style. He remarked how some of the fleshier fruit and muscle that increasingly warmer temperatures have endowed to the wine wasn't a feature in the 2014. The vintage is one that stands out for its superior clarity and open-knit structure, placing it atop the list of Le Pergole Torte's that will drink beautifully from day one.
Sergio Manetti originally planted just 2 hectares at this vacation property in 1967. With the unexpected glowing reception of the his first vintage (1971) he began to focus on winemaking exclusively. Manetti believed in the greatness of 100% Sangiovese from this hillside, and in 1981 due to the laws of Chianti Classico requiring the addition of Trebbiano in the blend he chose to leave the consortium.
This was a radical move at the time, hard to believe now as so many of the great wines of Chianti Classico are produced with 100% Sangiovese. (Even though the law was changed in 1995 to allow 100% Sangiovese Chianti Classico many producers opt to maintain their "lower" IGT status). The estate gained a loyal following at home and abroad, with Sergio's son Martino taking an active role with his father in 1989. In 2000 Martino took full control upon his father's passing.
The 18 hectare estate rests high at 425 meters in Radda, one of the coolest zones in Chianti Classico. The soil is heavily dominated by limestone, coupled with the site's climate Montevertine has a sense of transparency and grace that stand out immediately. Le Pergole Torte is sourced from the estate's oldest vines and highest elevation plantings. Aging takes place in French barrique with a maximum of 15% new wood. The deft use of barrique here is so impressive, adding concentration and texture while still harnessing the pure, lithe qualities inherent in site.
* There's been much confusion about the derivation of the name Le Pergole Torte. When Sergio Manetti bought the property there was a neighbor named Bruno who had just 3 rows of vines planted. These vines were trained in the old pergola fashion and the wine produced was so mesmerizing that it was the impetus for Manetti to plant.
I've spoken before about how the wines from Montevertine always remind me of the qualities that may be found in Burgundy's Chambolle-Musigny and Volnay. Talking to Manetti after bringing him a bottle of Roumier's Chambolle was really exciting, hearing about his love for the village and particular producers - Those that approach winemaking as he does, eyes firmly fixed on reflecting terroir above all else and not being afraid to produce beautifully transparent wines.
Le Pergole Torte speaks to a very special place, tugging at the heartstrings like only the best wines of the world can do. The 2014 marks an ideal vintage to drink tonight, as well as offering the ability to transform over decades in the cellar.
*Priority for large format requests will be based upon support of 750ml bottles.
24x 2014 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
$123 per bottle.
2x 2014 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 1.5L
$273 per bottle.
1x 2014 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 3L
$578 per bottle.
1x 2014 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 6L
$1,238 per bottle.
4x 1979 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
$739 per bottle.
3x 1982 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
$649 per bottle.
1x 1990 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
$549 per bottle.
12x 1990 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Riserva
$1,499 per bottle (OWB pictures here)
Produced only in 1990 from a portion of the vineyard harvested late, fermented and aged separately.
1x 1996 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 3L
$1,529 per bottle.
5x 1998 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
$349 per bottle.
3x 2001 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
$349 per bottle.
1x 2006 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
$289 per bottle.
7x 2013 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 1.5L
$345 per bottle.
3x 2013 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 3L
$738 per bottle.
1x 2013 Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 6L
$1,596 per bottle.