Wine of the Week - 2013 Sesti Monteleccio Toscana IGT

Wine of the Week - 2013 Sesti Monteleccio Toscana IGT

SOLD OUT! This is one of the best Italian wines I’ve tasted this year, and if you love Sangiovese, you should keep reading! Wait, that sounds familiar Josh…..haven’t we heard this before? Yep, I said the same thing about this overachieving Tuscan red last summer, and the new release is just as good, if not better — even better, the price is down $5!

This is a wine that has a history of overshadowing and outclassing wines that cost a lot more. In fact, English wine writer and Master of Wine Jancis Robinson recently did a tasting of wines from 11 of Italy’s top estates (including Sassicaia, Antinori, and Ornellaia); the standout for her and the only one she wrote up in her newsletter was the Sesti Monteleccio! 

Sesti Monteleccio

2013 Sesti Monteleccio Toscana

Brunello-like aromas and flavors at half the price!


What’s in the bottle here is pure Brunello di Montalcino “material,” and it’s from some of the best terroir in the region. In fact, Monteleccio is the local Tuscan dialect for Montalcino. Bottled with just a year of oak aging instead of the two years required to be labeled Brunello di Montalcino, the wine is 100% Sangiovese Grosso grown on Giusepe Sesti’s south facing slopes. These well exposed, arid, and rocky vineyards produce some of Montalcino’s finest wines, and this is one of the best values produced.

The Sesti Estate was founded in 1975 when Giusepe and Sarah Sesti relocated to Tuscany and purchased the abandoned ruins of the hamlet and castle of Argiano. They slowly and painstakingly rebuilt the estate to its former glory, and Giusepe planted his vineyards in 1991 after several of his winemaking neighbors suggested he do so. These days, Giusepe still oversees all aspects of winemaking, from vineyard to bottle, and his daughter Elisa is constantly by his side helping out as well. All of the farming is done according to the principles of biodynamics, the earliest form of organic agriculture. The Sestis farm this way because it produces better tasting and healthier fruit, not for marketing purposes.

The 2013 vintage in Tuscany is one that is being hailed by wine writers as a very high quality and classic one. Wine Spectator said it “looks like one of the best since 2001.” Marked by cooler than average temperatures and slow, even ripening, many producers harvested later than usual. This slower development resulted in Sangiovese grapes that developed more complex and layered nuances, and you can definitely taste the vintage conditions in this wine.

Medium bodied, beautifully aromatic, and assertively flavored, this is a complex red wine that manages to balance richness with freshness. On the nose, it’s all fresh cherry, raspberry, and strawberry fruit combined with more complex notes of exotic spices, violet, and earth. The palate is downright sumptuous, with nicely integrated acidity and tannin, and a finish that lasts 30+ seconds. Although delicious now, I would bet my store that this wine is going to be extraordinary in 3 to 5 years and that it will continue to offer pleasure through 2024.

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville