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Azienda Agricola Casa Raia
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Red Wine

Region/Appellation: Italy, Tuscany, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Grape: Sangiovese
Style: Powerful

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$106.83 / bottle
$641.00 ($0.00) / case

6 bottles per case

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Made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso grapes, "naturally-grown" and sourced from estate-vineyards plabted in 1975.

The vineyard is rich in rock fragments with the active layer formed by the erosion of the local rocks, particularly marl and dendrite.

The micro climate, though typically Mediterranean, is due to the different orientations of the slopes and modulation of the surrounding hills, with rainfalls concentrated in the spring and late autumn months (annual average 700 mm.) The proximity of Monte Amiata (altitude 1740 m.) to the Southeast provides a natural protection against exceptionally intense events such as cloudbursts or hail.
Perched on its own promontory the estate is not affected by late mists or frosts which can take place in the valleys. Winds and breezes blowing from all four directions guarantee the best conditions in all seasons. During the entire vegetative phase of the vine the weather is mainly hot with mostly sunny days, ensuring a gradual and complete ripening of the clusters.

In the vineyard, the goal is to maintain the biodiversity and natural balance. In the fall the soil is worked gently and seeded with a variety of organic plants and flowers providing natural nutrients to the soil. No pesticides or herbicides are used on the entire estate.

The vines are pruned following the cycles of the moon, pruning continuously for fourteen days as the moon is on its descending path. The pruning method of the vines is the cordon spur, 4 spurs per trunk, and double cordon, 6 spurs per trunk, obtained by short pruning (2 buds). Cultivation and harvest is by hand, taking care not to damage grapes before they get to the cellar. Each bunch is carefully inspected and cleaned before it goes into the destemmer.

In the cellar, a destemmer is used as opposed to a crusher, which results in the grapes gently falling by gravity into a 30hl French-oak barrel. The juices soak for a few days before natural fermentation begins...extracting color, flavour and tannins from the skins. Once fermentation begins, the cap is monitored daily and kept wet by a process of 3 remontage and delestage a day. The wine is basket pressed offering a longer pathway for the juice to travel through the compact pomace cake which serves as a filter for solids that can otherwise affect the quality of the wine.

The wine is then transferred to age in French oak barriels in an underground cantina where the exchange of humidity is achieved through floor openings under the barrels. Casa Raia uses the highest quality French-oak wood from Taransaud (near Cognac). The trees, sustainably managed by the government, are harvested when they are about 150 years old (plus).

The following spring after harvest the wines undergo natural malolactic fermentation, decreasing the acid in the wine. As natural evaporation occurs the barrels are topped up and the aging process is monitored diligently. The barrels (barrique) are not disturbed for another 4 years allowing a natural settling to occur without filtration. Blends from the different barrels are assembled according to our own specifications and then bottled on the premises. Extremely limited -- approximatley 1000 bottles produced.

Alcohol: 15.39% alc./vol. Free SO2 10 mg/L -- Total SO2 30 mg/L

Tasting Note

Tasting Note: Intense, medium ruby colour. Complex aromas and flavours of dark cherry, plum, and black-berry fruit with slight earthy sandalwood and dark chocolate notes. Full and rich, yet with a general tone of elegance on the well structured palate, and a very long finish. The tannins are firm yet well balanced -- this wine will be the beneficiary of many years of careful cellaring.

Serving Temperature: Serve at 19ºC. Decanting is recommended.

About the Grape

Sangiovese: Italy's more planted red-wine grape and responsible for producing one of Italy's best DOCG wine -- Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. It is the main grape behind the Tuscany's Chianti DOCG and Morellino di Scansano DOC, and can be found in various forms and blends in neighbouring Marche (Rosso Conero DOC and Rosso Piceno DOC), Umbria, and Emilia-Romagna.

The literal translation of Sangiovese is "blood of Jove" which suggests very ancient origins, but it is generally accepted to trace back to the Etruscans who enhabited northern Italy from about the 8th century BCE until they were absorbed by the Romans Empire.

For the sake of simplicity, Sangiovese was commonly thought to come in two sizes -- small (piccolo), as in the Chianti version of the grape, and large (grosso), as in the Montalcino version of the grape -- but in fact there actually dozens of different clones/versions of the grape, and size, in reality, has no impact on the quality of the wine anyway. Sangiovese also has many synonyms including Brunello, Morellino, and Prugnolo Gentile.

Soils, yield, altitude, aspect, and location seem to have more impact on quality and taste of the Sangiovese wine. The stricter DOCG rules of Chianti and Brunello can produce spectacularly elegant wines, with deep, earthy, dark fruit aromas and flavours, fine tannins, and balancing acidity -- the best of which can age for decades. But it can also produce lively young, easy-drinking wines that are a delight to have over a plate of pasta or a pizza. One of our favouriate grapes, probably because of this versatility.

Azienda Agricola Casa Raia

Bound by a philosophy that is respectful of the land, Azienda Agricola Casa Raia adheres strictly to the principles of organic production.

Casa Raia sits on a promontory beneath the famed medieval town of Montalcino. The estate once belonged to the patriarchal family of Brunello di Montalcino the Biond Santi. This soil saw the first roots of the sangiovese vine labouring through inhospitable rock over a century ago. In 1997 the then abandoned farm house was lovingly restored and named Casa Raia after the matriarch of the new owners, Raissa Temertey.

Vintners Pierre Jean Monnoyer and his wife Kalyna Temertey have restored the vineyards with unyielding respect for the land. Espousing a philosophy that is best described as "the vine determines the wine" they are producing "natural" wines that are an expression of their deep commitment to the uncompromising production of authentic, quality wines.

Website: http://www.casaraia.com

Visits: By appintment only.

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