Allegrini 2018

Company zonation, fidelity to history: the path of Tenuta Greppo of Biondi Santi

The cradle of Brunello, of Epi group, celebrates the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2012, the last one by Franco Biondi Santi, with a special label

Retracing the rooms and corridors of the cellar of Tenuta Greppo, where Brunello di Montalcino was born in the late nineteenth century, it always evokes emotion. Biondi Santi is, and remains, one of the few enoic myths of the Belpaese. The atmosphere is the same as that of past decades, but we can see some changes, brought about by the new property, the French group EPI (Européenne dé Participations Industrielles) of the Descours family. Changes, however, targeted, and always with the aim of maintaining the coherence of the Biondi Santi brand wines. So, next to the ancient cubic cement vats, tulip-shaped raw cement vats begin to “peep out”, which coexist with the conical oak trunks, destined for the fermentation of the Reserve. And then again, many small steel containers where separate micro vinification of even the smallest portions of the vineyard is carried out, to “govern” a push parcelling out of the harvest, as a result of the company zonation project that has just started. An accurate work of analysis, study and scanning of soils (conducted not only by the internal staff but also by an international consultancy) that brings together agronomy, geology and climatology, as befits uncompromising zonation, for its multidisciplinary essence.
An intervention all in the name of modernity, but definitely in line with the history and tradition of Greppo. Just operated to amplify to the maximum that history and tradition. Of course, Franco Biondi Santi knew his vineyards like the back of his hand and did not need maps or soil analysis. But today technical decisions are the result of teamwork, we need the most detailed information possible to make the best choices in the name of continuity.
Indeed, because the current property has no intention of upsetting anything. Wineries with the oldest tradition, moreover, have the “obligation” to enhance their historical heritage, to make themselves increasingly immune to the “disease” of approval.
Greppo, in this sense, is “condemned” to enhance itself, and not only to produce wine. And value is created by the vineyards which, to continue to guarantee original expressions of absolute excellence, need a careful and constant review of their potential. CEO Giampiero Bertolini is working in this direction, reconciling the long tradition of Greppo with a market repositioning more in line with the brand.
A process that passes through a long-term plan, with choices aimed more at the prestige of the name than the immediacy of the economic return. With a consolidation also of the vineyard heritage: in September 2019, as already reported by WineNews, 6 hectares of Brunello vineyards were acquired by the neighboring Poggio Landi estate (Bulgheroni Family Vineyards), adding to the 26 hectares of vineyards already owned by Greppo, to increase from an average of 90,000 bottles per year to a total production potential of 110,000.
Not a revolution, therefore, but an evolution, which has as its beacon the maintenance of the stylistic coherence of the wines and therefore of their originality, which we were able to see in the glass, during a tasting because of the forthcoming (spring) of Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2012 of Tenuta Greppo. The last wine signed by Franco Biondi Santi, the “keeper of Brunello”, to whom the label was dedicated (the addition of a slim strip, with the simple diction “dedicated to Franco Biondi Santi”, consistent with the style he chose when he celebrated particular bottles, such as the centenary in the 1982 Reserve).
In this case too, the winery has moved in full harmony with the style and approach of the winery, whose bond with the Biondi Santi family is represented by Franco’s son, Jacopo, and grandson Tancredi.
“Nature is capable of creating beautiful things, you just have to wait”, loved to remember Franco Biondi Santi. And so it was. The 2012 Reserve was supposed to be on the market as early as 2019, but the release was delayed until spring this year because it was not ready. Still a few months after its commercial debut, the wine is simply extraordinary. It’s a wine that’s surprising for its freshness and aromatic complexity, personality, stylistic consistency and taste finesse. A Sangiovese of those whispered, articulate, elegant but decisive and with all its beautiful hardness, in perfect harmony with its creator.

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