Of the many wine producing regions of Italy, we concentrate principally on two - Tuscany and Piedmont - where arguably the finest wines are made. Tuscany is the home of Sangiovese - which finds its greatest expression in the wines of Montalcino - while Piedmont is the home of Nebbiolo - the grape variety of Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, we have wines from Friuli in the far northeast, close to the border with Slovenia, from the Veneto (particularly famous for the sparkling wines made from Prosecco) and from Umbria, where quality can be very fine, while price remains remarkably reasonable.

Wine production in Italy has undergone an extraordinarily rapid period of change over the last 20 to 30 years. Gone is the obsession, born at least in part from the impoverishment of the post-War years, for producing the maximum possible volume from the vineyards, which resulted in the production of vast quantities of dilute, under-ripe and poorly made wines. The generation of the increasingly affluent decades of the 1970s and 1980s, which has now taken control of family vineyards, has very different ideas. The transparency of the global market, and the competition for the attention of wine drinkers has brought in its wake the realisation that wine, however cheap, will not sell if the quality is not there. Now we have a generation of Italian producers making wines of the highest quality at all levels of price.

Santa Maria

On the edge of the town of Montalcino itself is this tiny property, bought by Marino Colleoni in 1989.  He has just 1.5 hectares of vines, mostly in the northern zone of the appellation.  The vineyards are run along organic lines – no chemical herbicides or pesticides used – and the winemaking follows traditional lines.  Marino is however a man with an inquiring mind: he has conducted various experiments when ageing his wines prior to bottling – including most recently two barrels made out of chestnut and mulberry wood respectively.  The man’s exuberant enthusiasm spills over into the style of these wonderfully expressive wines.

Santa Maria cuverie


2009 Brunello di Montalcino, Marino Colleoni, Santa Maria x 6
 6 Bottles
"From Podere Sante Marie on the steepest, most isolated flank of Montalcino, the 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a brooding and mysterious wine packed tight with dark fruit, cassis, crushed stone, tar and tobacco. Marino Colleoni is a man of enormous charisma and energy and these traits translate directly to his carefully crafted Brunellos. His honest approach (in barrel tasting, he will take you through the good and the bad) makes for impeccable and sharply focused wines. 92" Monica Larner in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #211 
2011 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Marino Colleoni, Santa Maria x 6
 6 Bottles
2012 Brunello di Montalcino, Marino Colleoni, Santa Maria Magnums x 3
 3 Magnums
2015 Brunello di Montalcino, Marino Colleoni, Santa Maria Magnums x 3
 3 Magnums
2015 Brunello di Montalcino, Marino Colleoni, Santa Maria x 6
 6 Bottles
2016 Rosso di Montalcino, Marino Colleoni, Santa Maria x 6
 6 Bottles

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