Le Chiuse played a key role in the vineyard holdings of the legendary Biondi-Santi family since the late 18th century. Handed down, generation-to-generation the current owner, Simonetta Valiani is the great-granddaughter of Ferruccio Biondi-Santi. Simonetta inherited the estate and decided to start producing wine under the Le Chiuse name in 1993 with the help of her husband, Nicolò Magnelli, and their son, Lorenzo. Until then, the vineyards were rented to her uncle, Franco Biondi-Santi, which were at the time used for Biondi-Santi’s Riserva bottling.
The vineyards are planted with a form of Massal selection in order to maintain the genetic heritage of the estate. Budwood from 60-70-year-old vines of Sangiovese, personally selected by Tancredi Biondi-Santi for these vineyards, is grafted onto American rootstock. To maintain the highest quality, yields are carefully controlled. The yields here are half that demanded by consorzio rules. The winery’s gravity-fed cellars are state-of-the-art.
On this 6ha vineyard, 15-year-old cordon spur-trained Sangiovese Grosso vines are planted at a density of 4,500 plants/ha. The grapes are harvested by hand in the last week of September, are then crushed and transferred to tank by gravity. The Brunello endures 18 days maceration/fermentation period (29C) with natural yeasts and frequent punch-down of the cap during the first week to promote extraction. The wine is then racked 2/3 times until March when it is transferred to oak. The aging process takes 3 years in 20HL Allier and Slavonian bottle followed by 2 years in bottle.
Vintage Report from James Suckling:
"The 2015 vintage is a historical year for Brunello and nobody should miss it. The wines show impressive precision of vivid fruit, fine tannins, and freshness in acidity despite their ripeness and richness which makes them some of the most exciting in years. The growing season in 2015 was impressive. The winter and spring had plenty of rain to make up for the intense sun and heat during the summer. There was some rain in September before the harvest to freshen the vineyards. And as noted before, good vineyard management compensated for the hot weather during the growing season, and sorting out dried grapes at harvest was extremely important for making exceptional wines."
Tasting Notes: Red Wine. 100% Sangiovese Grosso. Bright garnet red in color. It has an intense persistent fragrance, pure and full-bodied. Various fragrances can be recognized, from forest fruits to light vanilla. To the taste, the wine is smooth and elegant, dry with an excellent persistent of aroma.
Aromas of woodland berry, new leather, blue flower, and a baby powder shape the enticing nose on this fragrant red. Juicy and bright, the polished, delicious palate doles out crushed raspberry, cherry compote, and baking spice alongside taut, refined tannins. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced while a licorice note graces the finish. ~98 Wine Enthusiast
The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino seems reluctant at this early stage, yet presents a savory expression of Sangiovese, with dusty black cherries backed by an almost-rustic mix of leather, crushed stone, and animal musk. On the palate, silky textures meld into with woodland berry and earth tones, along with notes of tobacco, savory herbs, and saline-minerals. Vibrant acids add energy and sweetness to the fruit, along with a mouthwatering quality, as youthful tannins collect on the senses and slowly dry out its profile. The finish is long, structured, and firmly rooted in the earth. Constantly evolving in the glass, the is a real powerhouse Brunello. ~95 Vinous Media
A beam of black cherry and black currant fruit is at the heart of this red. Supple and balanced, this stays long and complex on the finish, as earth, iron, and sanguine notes emerge. A dense swath of tannins lines the finish. Best from 2022 through 2040. ~95 Wine Spectator
The Le Chuise 2015 Brunello di Montalcino opens to a slightly shy and timid bouquet. My feeling is that this reticent quality will serve the wine very well as it continues the course of its aging. The bouquet shows mild fruit with some potting soil, leather, tar, and licorice. This Brunello from Le Chiuse is definitely characterized by a savory side as well with a pretty point of saltiness that you don't commonly find in its peers. This is a true beauty—the wine is elegant, shiny, and glossy from the inside out. Fruit comes from an eight-hectare parcel with vines that are 26 years old. Some 15,000 bottles will be released in February 2020. ~95 Wine Advocate
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