Top Vernaccia on the Planet: 2019 Montenidoli Vernaccia Tradizionale

Top Vernaccia on the Planet: 2019 Montenidoli Vernaccia Tradizionale

SOLD OUT! If you think all Vernaccia is simple, clean, and crisp, think again. Since 1965, Elisabetta Fagiuoli of Montenidoli has been making some of the most singular white wines in all of Italy from this humble and native Italian varietal.

Like Elisabetta, her wines are full of personality, and they are made unlike any others in the DOCG. Her 2019 Tradizionale Vernaccia recently scored 97 points with Great Britain's Decanter magazine, and I snagged by distributor's last 36 bottles. Before you hit the "buy" button, please read the full story -- this is truly a unique wine, and it will not be for everyone.

Montenidoli Vernaccia Tradizionale

2019 Montenidoli Vernaccia di San Gimignano 'Tradizionale' 

97 points Decanter  


ORDER NOW in our online store. We will apply deal pricing once we receive your order.

Bruce Sanderson of Wine Spectator summed up Montenidoli perfectly. He said the "wines of Montenidoli are in a class by themselves" and that "they are stylistically unlike any others in the denomination and stand head and shoulders above the rest." He went on to say "they remind me of other wines uniquely tied to place and the vision of the winemaker. Cappellano, Soldera's Case Basse, Valentini and Emidio Pepe come to mind from Italy; Henri Bonneau and Domaine Leroy in France." In case you're not familiar with the aforementioned producers, their wines sell for hundreds of dollars and are considered some of the finest in the world.

Do I have your attention yet? If not, take a look at Decanter's review. "Elisabetta Fagiuoli and her late husband, Sergio Muratori planted the then abandoned Montenidoli with vines from 1965. Red grapes are grown on Triassic clays (very rare in Tuscany), the Vernaccia on younger, well drained calcareous ground. The Vernaccia is made like a red, a waning local tradition, with short skin contact before pressing and fermenting leaving deeply textured yellow fruit with staying power and an unmistakable tang." 

Ever heard of orange wine? This isn't quite orange.....I'll call it golden. By leaving the juice and the skins together for a bit, Elisabetta extracts more complex flavors and textures from her wine along with a deeper color. The resulting wine is uniquely delicious with a range of full and savory flavors. I pick up notes of spiced apple, pear skin, jasmine, herbs and salty mineral, all offered up on a creamy yet fresh palate.

I'd be remiss and disrespectful not to provide you with the full story here. When Elisabetta and her late husband Sergio arrived at Montenidoli in 1965, the estate was in ruins. The couple got to work immediately, cleaning up the vineyards and olive groves and bringing the estate back to health. From day one, no synthetic chemicals were used, and today the estate is certified organic. The couple's hard work and meticulous farming practices paid off. Today, their wines are revered by wine lovers near and far.

The Tradizionale bottling is one of three Vernaccia di San Gimignanos that Elisabetta makes. It follows the local tradition of allowing the grapes to macerate with the juice for 3-7 days before fermentation with the skins. The long skin contact provides the wine with good structure. Once pressed, the wine rests on its lees for refinement in stainless steel vats. Tradizionale is aged for at least 12 months in bottle before release.

I'm rambling, I know. Let's wrap it up here. If you want to try something different, something truly traditional, and something that will expand your horizons, TRY THIS! Some of you are already hip to this one, and you know it pairs beautifully with olive oil-based Mediterranean dishes. It's also a truly contemplative white for sipping slowly, not too cold. 

ORDER NOW in our online store. We will apply deal pricing once we receive your order.

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville