Love the classically styled labels of Monteraponi, they speak to the classic character of the wines.

Monteraponi is not only one of the most up and coming estates in Chianti, but one of the finest.  The estate run by Michele Braganti located in Radda in Chianti has been in the family since 1974 but Michele only began making wine in 2003.  And in the span of a decade Monteraponi has quickly become one of the stars of classically made Chianti.  After first randomly discovering Monteraponi it quickly rose to the top of my favorite wines of the year and I put it in my top 10 list for 2012.  Meeting Michele recently at the Slow Wine Italy event in NYC and having had the opportunity to share dinner together and taste through a number of different wines from Monteraponi from different vintages only confirmed what I already suspected.

The suspicion after falling hard for the 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva “Il Campitello” was that the wines are the real deal.  And by real deal I mean hands off wine making done in the best classic manner, with little or no modern concessions; organic practices in the vineyards, spontaneous fermentation, non temperature controlled, aging for long periods in large Slovanian oak barrels, etc.  Now having tasted the regular 2010 Chainti Classico along with three vintages of “Il Campitello” (2006, 2008, 2009), and two vintages of “Baron Ugo” (2007 and 2009), I can say that the whole range of wines speaks to the hands off philosophy of Michele and Monteraponi.  There is no makeup here.  No hand of the wine maker.  What there is, is terroir, and typicity, and a real sense of place.  The wines of Monteraponi can only be Chianti, and they are very Italian.  They are earth, and spice, and tart red berry fruits.  They are balanced.  And they are excellent food wines.  Perhaps some of the finest food wines I can think of.

And they wines of Monteraponi make me think of Burgundy.  The terroir and the character are there, only they are more there.  The Monterponi wines really speak of a place, and the do so with honesty, and approachability, but not at the expense of individuality.  They have everything that one would love about Burgundy, yet do it better.  That’s right, Monteraponi is like Burgundy, only better.  Deal.

Michele & Melissa

Michele Braganti and my friend (and Italian white wine expert!) Mellisa Sutherland.