Argiano: The Love of Wine
May 14, 2019
Brunello – elegant Tuscan Wine of Prestige
Brunello translated into English is “little dark one,” or “little brown one,” and refers to the region’s clone of Sangiovese grape called Sangiovese Grosso, the highest expression of the grape, made exclusively from the dark, thicker skinned version. Sangiovese Grosso shows intensity and with aromas of forest fruit, cola and spice. In general, Brunello is more elegant and complex when compared to Sangiovese from its neighbors’ versions.
Brunello is one of Italy’s most prestigious and recognized wines and is considered Italy’s most recognized premium wine internationally. The United States has become the largest importer of Brunello demanding 25% of the total production. Brunello’s international prominence was recognized by Wine Spectator when it was selected “Top Wine of the Year” in 2006.
An Ancient Producer
Wine Warehouse is proud to have selected from Montalcino, one of the region’s top producers, who happens to be one of the oldest as well – Argiano. Argiano was established in 1580 and is one of the first estates established in the region. The ancient estate is located in the village of Sant’ Angelo in warmer southwestern Montalcino and notably co-sponsored the original Brunello Consorzio and helped found the Brunello DOC.
A Name With Pagan Origins
Going way, way back, there are pagan origins at the root of the Argiano legend. The name Argiano is named after the legendary temple there in Montalcino built in honor of the God Janus – a very important shrine for pilgrims in Etruscan times (between the 8th century BCE and the 3rd century CE). “Argiano” comes from the Latin Ara Jani, meaning the “altar of Janus.” Janus was a two faced god in which one looked to the future and the other to the past. He also gives us the name for the month of January.
The Proof Is In the Vineyards
Argiano’s 120 hectare estate sits on an elevated plateau resting 1,000 feet above the surrounding Tuscan countryside. The Tyrrhenian Sea to the west generates gentle cool breezes keeping the sunny hillside environment from overheating. Nearby Mount Amiata, one of Tuscany’s highest peaks, protects the vines from any threat of harsh weather. The soil type here is ideal for the local Sangiovese and is composed of limestone, clay and gravel. Sangiovese also shares its balanced terroir with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and a few rows of Syrah. Together all these coveted grapes thrive under Argiano’s extremely natural and environmentally protected viticulture regimen.
Argiano’s estate includes a historical cellar that has matured wines since the 16th century. It is in this subterranean world where the wines rest at a constant temperature and humidity away from the golden Tuscan sunlight, noise or movements assuring perfect aging in every bottle.
Reputation and Scores Don’t Hurt Either!
Today Argiano boasts an excellent record in the wine business with an impressive collection of great reviews, high scores and a team of Grade A talent at the helm of their prosperous estate. Sebastiano Rosa is General Manager of Argiano Estate. Rosa spent six years at UC Davis, a two year tenure at Château Lafite Rothschild and three years at Sassacaia. In addition, their oenologist Dr. Giacomo Tachis, was probably the most well known winemaker in Italy today. His legacy includes Sassacaia, Tignanello and Solaia, to name a few.
“Fantastic aromas of orange peel and dark berry with plenty of plum and cherry. Sweet tobacco and mushrooms. Full body, juicy and fruity with firm tannins and a fresh finish. Complex and gorgeous. Fine and very long.” 96pts James Suckling; 93pts Wine Advocate; 93pts Wine Enthusiast; 93pts Wine Spectator
“This is beautiful on the nose, showing lots of brambly notes, ranging from undergrowth and forest floor to elderberries, raspberry bush and dried herbs. Full-bodied, tight and very elegant, framed by linear tannins and bright acidity.” 93pts James Suckling
“Shows lovely blue fruit, citrus and fresh herbs. Medium body, tightly wound tannins and a tangy, delightful finish.” 91pts James Suckling; 90pts Wine Spectator