There are few names in Brunello di Montalcino that rank higher than Poggio di Sotto. The estate's obsession with clonal quality, combined with its incredibly elegant winemaking style has garnered a loyal fanbase. The estate was established in 1989 by Piero Palmucci and very quickly became one of the cult wines of Montalcino. Palmucci wanted to push the boundaries of the appellation, first by finding the perfect site, then experimenting with the finest clones of Sangiovese in order to produce wines of greater complexity. He was convinced that the Castelnuovo dell’Abate region – situated on the warmer, southern slopes of Montalcino, facing Mount Amiata – was the ideal spot, with the mountain’s influence creating a microclimate that allows the grapes to have both freshness and fully ripe tannins. Poggio di Sotto tannins are about as fine as they come for Sangiovese. The estate believes that it is the combination of the multiple clones planted, their unique location on these southern slopes and the high-density planting that creates such a distinct and beguiling example of Brunello di Montalcino.
Palmucci also brought in Tuscan legend Giulio Gambelli, one of Italy’s most respected wine consultants, to help make the wine. With no heir to take over, Palmucci sold his beloved estate to Claudio Tipa from Tenuta di ColleMassari, who kept the same loyal team of workers, including Gambelli. After Gambelli died in 2012, his apprentice Federico Staderini took the helm, overseeing the winemaking at the estate alongside Luca Marrone.
In the vineyard
The original vineyard, Perelle Nuova, is one of the warmest sites in Montalcino and where Palmucci believed the highest-quality Sangiovese for Brunello is produced. The daytime heat is offset by cool nights due to the influence of the nearby ancient volcano of Mount Amiata, which causes a significant drop in temperature at night, helping the grapes retain freshness and acidity. Palmucci was so convinced of the uniqueness of the site that he wanted the subregion of Castelnuovo dell’Abate to gain its own separate designation.
In the winery
The grapes are harvested and selected by hand before natural fermentation in oak vats. After gentle colour extraction and a long maceration on the skins, the wine completes fermentation and is left to mature with little interference to preserve the complex aromas. To avoid excessive oxygenation, several trials were conducted to find the ideal barrel. In the end, an oval Slavonian oak barrel was adopted, specially made by a Venetian cooper, which allowed slow development without the need for racking.