Overview The Wine
Le Ragnaie is known for its elegant, terroir-driven wines that stand out in this Tuscan powerhouse category. The owner and winemaker, Riccardo Campinoti, acquired the property in 2002 and has expanded the estate to include 28 hectares covering three distinct parcels within Montalcino. The parcels Le Ragnaie and Petroso both are centered around the village of Montalcino and have the region’s highest elevation vineyards and oldest winemaking history, respectively. Additionally, the vineyards La Fornace Loreto and La Cava lie in the southern portion of Montalcino within Castelnuovo dell’Abate, adjacent to the iconic Poggio di Sotto.
Le Ragnaie makes complex, traditional wines from Sangiovese Grosso, Riccardo’s wines exhibit elegance and finesse from by farming some of the highest altitude vineyards in Montalcino. All four Brunello wines are fermented in concrete without selected yeast followed by a long maceration up to 90 days and three years in large Slavonian oak botti. All wines are bottled unfiltered and certified organic in the vineyards and cellar.
When asked about his winemaking, Riccardo describes himself firmly as a Traditionalist. He believes in long maturations, light-handed winemaking, elegant tannin extraction, refined concentration and aging in large Slavonian oak barrels. He pays close attention to yields so as to not create heavy handed wines, allowing the terroir of each site to be fully expressed.
“The key is balance. You want to have a good balance between alcohol, acidity, structure, and finesse. I think, for Sangiovese, it's a little bit more difficult to obtain this with small barrels. I think Sangiovese, in my opinion, needs to age slowly with the right amount of exposure to oxygen via the oak staves which are porous, whilst ageing in the barrel, and also the right amount of oak. New barrels, especially small new barrels, give off a lot of oak to the wine. There was a debate about whether this oak would dissolve after a few years. I think it doesn't. I think its always a bit more present in the wines once they are bottled. And also the tannins are a bit more astringent.” – Riccardo Campinoti
Grape / Blend
Ruby red with garnet veins. The nose has intriguing aromas. Of dark berries, dry leaves and juniper berries, musk and pipe tobacco. The leather of the bags adds complexity to the whole. On the palate it is very pleasant. Equipped with excellent hardness, with tannins and acidity to head the ranks. Yet the creaminess expressed by the poly alcohols and the heat of the alcohol content adequately support the sip.
This wine gets amazing scores but in 2014 - they declassified all the single vineyards into this VV blend...
93 Points - Ian Blackburn (2014) (why I purchased this wine)
Le Ragnaie V.V., Vigna Vecchia 2014 is a special wine - if you believe the vineyards are special (and they are) - this is the wine to buy and drink. Approachable in its youth but with the gutts and pieces to age 20 years.. this 2014 is really a super blend. Typically, the best single vineyards are bottled separately... but not in 2014, they blended all the sites into this bottle... sites that typically sell for $150-175, they are in here! Now 2014 was a wet vintage and the scores went to 2015 and 2016 which are amazing ... but this is gorgeous... there is a punctuation to this fruit, the density, the layered nature; this is a wine I would open next to any 2010 or 2012 and what it blow them away... become a believer or if you are already... become well supplied... we have a good amount of this wine and hope to make many Brunello fans happy. Color 13.5/15 Aromas 23.5/25 Body/Structure 23/25 Overall Impression 33/35 = 93 Points
HERE ARE THE PROS DESCRIBING THE 2016 version.
98 Points - Jeb Dunnuck (2016)
The Le Ragnaie V.V., Vigna Vecchia, is sourced from their highest elevation site of their oldest vines planted in 1968. The aromatics are lifted with pine, bright cherry fruit, rosehip, and orange zest. Of the single vineyards, it has the most tension-packed structure, with angular tannins and linear drive. The palate is fresh with crisp cherry fruit, licorice, and a stony mineral feel. This is a wine that certainly needs time to unfold and express its character.
98 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2016)
Le Ragnaie farms some of the highest-elevation vineyards in the appellation, and this wine gets its fruit from the site that is the highest of all. The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Ragnaie V. V. offers an extremely chiseled and sharp bouquet as a result. Wild berry, blue flower, balsam herb and crushed stone emerge with intensity. The tannins are firm and tight, and given those high altitudes, the wine's extra crispness comes as no surprise. The fruit is harvested from old vines, 60 years old or more.