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BADIA A COLTIBUONO

TUSCANY

BADIA A COLTIBUONO

TUSCANY



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ABOUT THE WINERY

There are few other wineries anywhere that have such an aura of vinicultural history as that of Badia a Coltibuono. In Europe, it is not too difficult to find wineries that have origins dating back one, two, three, even five centuries, but the edifice at Badia a Coltibuono has been watching over winemaking for almost a thousand years—and the building was constructed long after wine was first made on the property. Grapeseeds and amphorae from the first century A.D. Roman period—evidence of wine production—have been found at an archaeological dig on the property, and even earlier ruins from the wine-savvy Etruscan culture are present as well.

That is not to say that Badia a Coltibuono was designed specifically as a winery all those years ago. It was established as an abbey (badia) in 1051 by St. Giovanni Gualberto, the founder of the Vallumbrosan Order of Benedictine monks. Of course, wine production was an important element of monastical life, and the Vallumbrosans may have been the first to cultivate Sangiovese in Tuscany. The abbey’s name, Coltibuono, can be translated as “Good Cultivation” or “Good Harvest,” perhaps indicating the importance of viticulture there. 

Today, the Badia a Coltibuono estate in the Chianti Classico commune of Gaiole in Chianti is led by the fifth generation of family members: Emanuela, Paolo, and Roberto Stucchi Prinetti. There are 150 acres of vineyards on the property, along with another 50 acres of olive trees. This being Chianti Classico, Sangiovese is naturally the most important grape variety planted. However, the family honors Chianti’s heritage by also keeping significant numbers of vines of other traditional varieties that are allowed but often omitted in Chianti Classico: Canaiolo Nero, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Foglia Tonda, Malvasia Nera, Mammolo, Pugnitello, and Sanforte (as well as Trebbiano and Malvasia for Vin Santo). From these building blocks, Badia a Coltibuono makes a robust range of wines from the traditional to the innovative.

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WINERY LOCATION: Gaiole in Chianti, Tuscany
WINE REGIONS: Chianti Classico DOCG, Chianti DOCG, Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC, IGT Toscana
VINEYARD LAND: 150 acres (60 ha) estate vineyards, with additional vineyards under contract
FARMING PRACTICES: Sustainable, Organic & Certified Organic
GRAPE VARIETIES: Sangiovese; small amounts of Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Foglia Tonda, Malvasia, Malvasia Nera, Mammolo, Pugnitello, Sanforte, and Trebbiano
WINE STYLES: Dry red, sweet dessert, grappa
TOTAL WINE PRODUCTION: 245,000 bottles (183,750 liters)
YEAR FOUNDED: 1846 (1957 as a commercial winery)
OWNER: Emanuela, Paolo, and Roberto Stucchi Prinetti
WINEMAKERS: Roberto Stucchi Prinetti, with consultant Maurizio Castelli

WINES

COLTIBUONO “CETAMURA” CHIANTI DOCG

Badia a Coltibuono developed Cetamura (pronounced chay-ta-MOO-ra) in the late 1980s to apply the know-how developed in the production of the estate wines to the goal of producing an excellent value wine. The goal was, and still is, to show the true character, quality, and style of Tuscany in an elegant, drinkable, and food-friendly form. The Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti is a young and fresh Sangiovese for every day. The Cetamura name comes from a hamlet on the Badia a Coltibuono estate where archeologists have excavated remains of a medieval fort, an earlier Roman villa, and an even earlier Estruscan town. Finds at Cetamura include evidence of viticulture more than 2,000 years old.

COLTIBUONO “RS” CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG

Coltibuono RS Chianti Classico was created with the goal of showing a more contemporary style of Chianti Classico made with only Sangiovese. Each year, the winery sources grapes from different areas in Chianti Classico, looking to build the complexity that comes from the many distinctive characters of Sangiovese in different terroirs. The winemaker likes this wine so much, he put his initials on it.

BADIA A COLTIBUONO CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG

The estate Chianti Classico is central in representing Badia a Coltibuono’s vision and relationship with its place and its history. Using the traditional blend of Sangiovese and complementary varieties, as well as the choice of propagating vines the traditional way - by massal selection - taking cuttings from many top-performing vines rather than a single vine for cloning - has always been the backbone of the wine. Modern techniques such as vinification by gravity are used to bring forth the best expression of the fruit, but traditional approaches, from indigenous yeast fermentation to aging in oak casks rather than barriques, are central to the authenticity of the wine. The winery's long-established organic practices are also fundamental in the development of the truly unique character of the grapes.

BADIA A COLTIBUONO CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG RISERVA

This true classic is the first wine bottled at Badia a Coltibuono in modern times, beginning in the 1950s. It represents the estate’s history and a significant part of the history of Chianti. Like the annata (the non-riserva version), this wine uses a traditional blend of Sangiovese and complementary varieties. But to ensure that only the very best is bottled as Riserva, at each step in its production the utmost care is taken to achieve excellence, beginning with a careful choice of the best grapes in the best vineyards, manual sorting at the winery, long maceration on the skins, and a second selection of only the best lots after the first year of cask aging. The resulting wine is complex, deep, nuanced, and extremely long lived. It transcends the freshness and complexity of the annata, showing how power and elegance can live together and develop for decades.

BADIA A COLTIBUONO “MONTEBELLO” TOSCANA IGT

Montebello is a modern study on classic Chianti. High proportions of Sangiovese are standard today, but traditionally Chianti was made from field blends that included up to 100 different varieties. An homage to that older tradition and rather than focusing on Sangiovese (or international varieties), the winery uses an assemblage of nine of Chianti’s most important indigenous red varieties in equal parts for Montebello. Each variety is fermented and aged individually and then blended after a year of barrel aging. Montebello is a unique and complex antithesis to the contemporary single-variety obsession.

BADIA A COLTIBUONO “SANGIOVETO DI TOSCANA” TOSCANA IGT SANGIOVESE

Sangioveto is the traditional name for Sangiovese in Chianti. In 1980 when Badia a Coltibuono created this wine, a pure Sangiovese wine was not allowed in Chianti Classico, so the wine could not be labeled with the DOCG name. While many winemakers were innovating by using international varieties with or instead of Sangiovese, Badia a Coltibuono innovated in the other direction—making one of the first 100% Sangiovese Super Tuscans as a statement about Sangiovese and its value and quality in Chianti Classico. The wine is as an expression of Chianti and Sangiovese pride, always from older vineyards and aged in barriques after an extended maceration on the skins. Though 100% Sangiovese wines are now allowed in Chianti Classico DOCG, the winery has chosen to keep its original IGT status.

BADIA A COLTIBUONO “CULTUS BONI” CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG RISERVA

The Cultus Boni is Badia a Coltibuono’s more modern expression of Chianti Classico. It is still made with a traditional blend of Sangiovese and other varieties—in fact, using eight historical Chianti varieties making up 20% of the blend—but it is aged in barriques rather than large oak casks. Modern techniques such as vinification by gravity along with Badia a Coltibuono’s long-established organic practices are used to bring forth the best expression of the grapes. Cultus boni in Latin, like coltibuono in Italian, means “good cultivation.”

BADIA A COLTIBUONO VIN SANTO DEL CHIANTI CLASSICO DOC

Vin Santo has probably been produced at the Coltibuono Abbey for almost a thousand years, and since 1846 in the family. Vin Santo is the traditional hospitality wine and the true Tuscan vino del contadino (farmer’s wine). The sharecroppers would hide a barrel of it in the attic of the farmhouse because it was made for use of the family. Using the traditional process, Trebbiano and Malvasia are picked early and dried into raisins indoors before being fermented and aged in sealed barrels stored in attics for 6 years. With its sweet intensity, vibrant acidity, and unique combination of nuttiness and dried fruit notes, Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo is way more than a typical dessert wine.

BADIA A COLTIBUONO VIN SANTO DEL CHIANTI CLASSICO DOC OCCHIO DI PERNICE

Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice is a variant on the classic Tuscan sweet dessert wine. Vin Santo is the region’s traditional hospitality wine, made using grapes that have been picked early and dried into raisins indoors before being fermented and aged in sealed barrels stored in attics for several years. While the usual version is made with Trebbiano and Malvasia, Occhio di Pernice is instead made with Sangiovese. Being made from red grapes gives this Vin Santo an extra layer of complexity and its unique dark brownish-amber color that is reminiscent of the occhio di pernice, eye of a partridge.

BADIA A COLTIBUONO GRAPPA DI SANGIOVETO

Badia a Coltibuono Grappa di Sangioveto is a barrel-aged spirit made from the pomace of Sangiovese grapes that have finished fermentation. After the wine is drained and the skins have been pressed, the skins are distilled artisanally to recover the alcohol from them, along with minute amounts of flavor and aroma compounds. The resulting liquor is then given long aging in barrels to achieve gentleness.

LOCATION


WINERY:
Gaiole in Chianti, Tuscany

VINEYARD:
Gaiole in Chianti, Tuscany

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NEWS AND REVIEWS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN THE INDUSTRY



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92
NOVEMBER 2019
Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico DOCG 2017

Lovely purity of fruit here, which ranges from citrus to hibiscus to bright herbs and raspberries. Medium-bodied but spicy and serious, knitting a finely woven texture of tannins and fruit together in harmonious style. Drink now.

94
SEPTEMBER 2019
Badia a Coltibuono “Montebello” Toscana IGT 2015

What happens when you blend the indigenous grapes Mammolo, Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Foglia Tonda, Malvasia Nera, Sanforte and Pugnitello? You get the 2015 Montebello. This is a beautifully intense and curious wine in that it challenges you to come up with precise clues to identify the individual grapes. The bouquet is broadly projected like a wide-screen television, with cherry, blackberry, spice, tar and licorice. The depth and complexity of this vintage is particularly attractive. There is crisp acidity at the end of this mid-weight delivery that makes this wine great for fatty cuts of beef or lamb. This wine may not be for everyone, but I definitely got a charge here. Only 6,800 bottles were produced. - ML