What We Say 2005 Staffato Sant Antimo Rosso DOC
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Mission Codename: A Wine for the Masses
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure a unique Super Tuscan just in time for the holidays.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Azienda Agricola San Filippo
Wine Subject: 2005 Staffato Sant’Antimo Rosso DOC
While lesser known, the Sant’Antimo Rosso DOC covers an almost identical region as the much more famous Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. Sant’Antimo Rosso DOC allows more flexibility in its varietal blends, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other ‘non native’ grapes with the local superb Sangiovese and which represents some of the oldest, and perhaps the most unique, blends from the area, while still retaining all the tradition of the region’s winemaking. The DOC is named after the 12th century Romanesque Abbey of Sant’Antimo at the foot of the Castelnuovo dell’Abate which is perhaps one of the best known icons of the Montalcino region.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dark garnet with dark ruby red edges and a deep clear core. Clusters of legs ring the glass when swirled.
Smell – Bold and intense aromas of ripe red and black fruit including raspberries layered of complex layers of toasted vanilla oak, classic Italian spicy zest and notes of earth, smokey tobacco and a hint of green pepper.
Feel – Rich, dry and tangy, this full-bodied classic has fine firm and mildly sweet tannins, good minerality, a touch of spice and well balanced acidity creating a slightly chewy texture that coat the entire palate.
Taste – Layers of both tart and ripe red and black fruit with blackberry, black-cherry with woody flavors of both oak and cedar, spicy notes, earthy tobacco and of course classic zesty Italian tar.
Finish – Medium length and clean with lingering flavors of tart fruit and spice that fade slowly all the while inviting another sip.
Conclusion – The last time we wanted to feature this wine, our importer ran out before we could, so when the next allocation arrived we jumped all over it. From the same region as Brunello di Montalcino, this Super Tuscan is sure to please all who love classic Italian wines. The tangy and zesty fruit of Sangiovese carefully blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this unique wine has it all. Drinking great now and will continue to develop in complexity over the coming years. A total of about 200 cases are imported into the US each year and most get quickly picked up by upscale Italian restaurants. Be sure to get your personal cellar allocation today!
I had PIN messaged Agent Baco Noir with a simple request:
LOCATE TOP SUPER TUSCAN 4 HOLIDAYS P/U SIENA 1440
As always, she was waiting on the platform as my train arrived in Siena, wearing her signature Italian pumps, helmet in one hand, her clutch in the other.
“Quick, we have an appointment,” she said as we made our way to her Vespa parked out side. I didn’t like riding on the back of the scooter, but I wasn’t about to start an argument with her now. We headed south and after a short ride pulled up the in front of the Abbey of Sant’Antimo. Throngs of people filed into the 100 year old church and sat down in the pews.
Needless to say, I was a bit confused. Baco simply pointed at a pew were I sat and we enjoyed the very traditional, if not lively, service in Italian. Not to be rude, I saved my comments until the end of the Mass and then before I could begin my questioning, she indicated it was time to go.
“Now that you’ve experienced the Mass, you can enjoy the wine.”
A short distance from the abbey, we arrived at the farm of San Filippo. It was there that Agent Baco Noir explained the history of the farm and its significance for providing a wine for the masses as she handed me a bottle of the 2005 San Filippo Staffato Sant’Antimo Rosso DOC.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Sant’Antimo, Montalcino can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
“Staffato” is created from a Sangiovese base with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It is a synthesis of elegance and structure with a complex olfactory profile. Balsamic hints, and elements that range from mineral notes to tobacco. Passage in barriques for 14 months followed by a 6-month period of refinement in the bottle.
Red rubin with light garnet-red tonalities. Sweet, delicate, ethereal, and fruity with sweet and spicy hints. Soft, firmly structured with sweet tannins very well balanced with its acidity. An aftertaste of fruity hints of berries married with spices
About The Winery:
The San Filippo estate is situated in a splendid area to the south-east of Montalcino, where the most elegant and best ageing wines of the entire Brunello district are produced. The estate extends over approximately 22 hectares, with 11 under wine, where the principal varieties grown are Sangiovese, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and about one and half hectares of olive groves.
Founded in 1972, the first battle of Brunello dates to 1977, the estate was recently purchased by Robert Giannelli who has restored and renovated all of the buildings and outdoor areas of the wine resort. At the same time, he has also reorganized the wine production, drawing on the experience of his trusted wine makers and vinification technicians.
History of the Farm:
From research carried out in the parish archives of Montalcino, it appears that on 21 April 1672 a benefice was set up in honor of St. Filippo Neri. It seems extremely likely that this is also the date of the construction of the farmhouse, which actually incorporates the chapel of the same name.
Another interesting fact emerges from the same archives. The chapel fell under the patronage of a certain nobleman named Dominico Franceschini; since the latter was obliged to have at least four masses celebrated in the chapel each year, it is recorded that in 1779 he himself supplied the priest who held the benefice with the wine for celebrating the masses, withdrawing it from the cellars of the estate.
This detail suggests that it is reasonable to assume that wine was already being grown on the estates of San Filippo from at least as far back as this date.
PRODUCTION AREA: Montalcino (SI)
ALTITUDE: 150 to 300m asl
ORIENTATION: South, South-East and South-West
SITUATION: On hills
VINE VARIETIES: Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the ratio required by the product specification
SOIL: Argillaceous schist
GRAPE HARVEST: End September
WINE-MAKING: In steel tanks
MATURATION: In large French oak barrels for 14 months
REFINEMENT: In bottles for at least 6 months
ALCOHOL BY VOLUME: 13.00%
HOW TO SERVE: Pour it at 18°C or 19°C
GASTRONOMY: It fits well with all meats in general and with cheeses
Abbey of Sant’Antimo, Montalcino