What We Say 2005 Rosso di Montalcino Elisa Selection DOC
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes even better than that, as is the case with today’s wine from Le Benducce di Tornesi.
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Mission Codename: M.O.N.T.A.L.C.I.N.O. Revisited
Operative: Agent Blush
Objective: Acquire an exclusive Rosso for our operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Le Benducce di Tornesi
Wine Subject: 2005 Rosso di Montalcino Elisa Selection DOC
Winemaker: Maurizio Tornesi and Paolo Vagaggini
Rosso di Montalcino, made from the same grapes and in the same region as its big brother, and perhaps the finest of all the wines in Italy, Brunello di Montalcino, is younger and fresher. It is aged for less time in oak and is widely considered an excellent lower cost version showing many of the flavor characteristics of Brunello. Most notable, Rossos will be more youthful and crisp due a shorter oak regimen. Recently, Rossos have been deeper and more concentrated than in years past producing a wine that appeals greatly to the American palate.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark purple and ruby with excellent clarity (not inky like its Brunello brethren) with brick edges and solid viscosity and slow thick legs that hints at its flavor concentration.
Smell – Pronounced and youthful, tart red fruit and berries, balanced with earth and herbaceous flavors with hints of licorice and tobacco smoke and a slight floral component.
Feel – Full-bodied with solid tannins that grip the back and sides of the palate with a crisp acidity.
Taste – Red fruit including tart concentrated cherries, currants, blackberry with layers of oak, spice, tobacco and licorice.
Finish – Long and bold with tart concentrated fruit.
Conclusion – Overall an exceptional example of Rosso. Big and bold, very approachable in its flavors with the concentrated fruit and spice that we love so much in Sangiovese-based wines. Given the youthfulness of this wine, The Wine Spies recommend that you decant this wine for a little while prior to enjoying. Pair this wine with grilled game meat or hearty pasta. The acidity of this wine will even stand up to spicier kitchen creations.
My spy communicator again. Does it ever stop ringing?
The voice on the other end, obviously electronically disguised, said, “Dead drop. La Loggia. 3rd Arch. Mark plus 18 hours…. Mark.”
The line went dead.
Who was that, how would I possibly make it to Italy in 18 hours, and how do I know it wasn’t a trap?
Requesting detailed analysis, I sent the automatic recording of the call to Central Command, where Agent Red was the acting Ops Chief. A few minutes later, Red reported back, suggesting that the source could not be verified – but that the 3rd arch of La Loggia might have some significance.
Approving the mission, Red arranged transport and I was underway. 14 hours later, well rested and ready for action, I hopped into my rental car and sped through the Italian countryside.
On arrival at La Loggia, a 14th and 15th century construction which consists of 6 beautiful archways, I noted that the area was filled with tourist throngs. On a beautiful day like today, I am not surprised.
Making my way to the 3rd arch, a young man catches my eye. He smiles at me as he passes me and looks down into his hand, which is clutching a small package. I follow him with my eyes and watch as he sets the package down next to a waste can before walking on.
Making my way to the can I casually scoop up the box and carry it to a nearby bench. I set my spy communicator on top of it and key it to analyze the contents. Almost instantly, the screen displays: “Findings inconclusive, handle with caution.”
Alarm bells ring out in my head. Looking around at all of the people, I decide that it would be best to deal with this right here, rather than risk upsetting whatever might be inside.
I remove a hairpin from my hair and use it to open the box (only spy hairpins have a finely sharpened edge). The box now open, I hear a distinct ticking sound. My heart races. I delicately remove layers of paper packing material to reveal two boxes, one large and one small, the ticking sound coming from the latter.
I take out the bigger box. There is liquid inside. Wine Spies don’t do bombs, for goodness sake, we sleuth out wines. The most danger I have ever experienced was when a corkscrew malfunctioned and I cut my thumb.
Gently, I open the larger box. Whew! It is just a bottle of Rosso di Montalcino inside. Relieved only for the briefest moment, I suddenly remember the smaller ticking box!
As I begin to remove the box, a soft voice above me says, “Maybe these will help”.
Looking up, I see a grinning Agent White. He has two wine glasses in his hand and a huge smile on his face.
“Happy Anniversary, Blush. Your first year of exemplary service to The Wine Spies has earned you this trip to Italy – and this incredible Rosso!”
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The Montalcino region can be viewed in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Le Benducce de Tornesi
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RARE EXCLUSIVE WINE ALERT:
This is an exceptionally rare wine and The Wine Spies has the only allocation available at retail in the United States. If you are a fan of big Tuscan classics, get yourself some of this delicious wine!
About this Wine:
Rosso di Montalcino is obtained from the same grapes as Brunello. It has different scents and characteristics because it has not been seasoned for a long time in oak barrels. The wine gets an inconfutable note of vivacity and new.
To be served at room temperature with cheese, pork products and red meat.
Exclusive Operative Only Bonus Special:
If you love the wines from Le Benducce di Tornesi, then The Wine Spies has a special treat for you. The Wine Spies has also been able to secure an extremely rare treat for its operative. A very special gift boxed 1.5 liter of the 2001 Le Benducce de Tornesi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. There are only 12 of these exclusive packages in the United States and The Wine Spies have them all.
92 points Wine Spectator: “Shows loads of crushed raspberry, with vanilla and hints of toasty oak. Full-bodied, with a beautiful core of ripe fruit and silky tannins. Long, rich and caressing. Best after 2010. 70 cases made.” (04/07) 2 Red Glasses Gambero Rosso!
This special is available by reservation only and only to Wine Spies registered members for $199.00 plus tax (includes ground shipping). If you are interested in this please send an email to AgentWhite@thewinespies.com to reserve one. This offer is available on a first come, first served basis and you must be a registered operative to qualify.
History of Le Benducce – Tornesi
Since 1750, when Montalcino still was an insignificant spot on the map, this winery had been owned by the Tornesi Family. Maurizio Tornesi, the actual owner, received this piece of soil, which is situated only a few meters from Montalcino away, from his grandfather Giuseppe.
The decision to use this domain for viniculture, was given by the favourable location to of the hillside, i.e. south/southwest at an altitude of 400 m o.s.l. Maurizio Tornesi successfully makes use of what nature has given to him, also thanks to the “historical” help of father Gino and the knowledge of the oenologist Paolo Vagaggini.
The winery embraces actually a surface of 7 hectars subdivided as follows: 4.5 ha of Sangiovese Grosso vines in production used for Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino with a density of 4.500 stocks/hectar, 600 Olive trees and a little woodland.
The winery is working according to the principle of maximum reduction of pesticides and all production stages are done manually. The main shoot of the vines is cut down to 6 eyes, in order get a naturally controlled production of 2 kg /vine ca.
This wine has an ageing period in traditional oak casks of approximately 6 month and another 5 months of refining in the bottle.
Alc. By Vol.: 14.00%
1st bottling: 1993
Extension: 7 ha
Vines: 4,5 ha
N° vines/ha: ca. 4.500
Production/ha in hl: 60-70 hl
*Total Annual production in bt.: * 9-10.000 bott./0,75 lt.
Different crus: Loghino, Piano, Lecciarello
Grapes: 100 % Sangiovese Grosso
Soil: mainly Galestro