I think that most of you who know me, would agree that I am generally an easygoing, gentle, broadminded kind of guy. It’s true…I am. But…not when it comes to Brunello. In fact, I can be quite opinionated, some say even downright stubborn about Brunello.
In recent times, Brunellos have strayed down a road uncharacteristic of the terroir. And to me, that is unforgivable. A pure and traditionally crafted Brunello is like great Burgundy, rich and complex while light and elegant. In Montalcino, the beauty of the terroir is crystal clear if you don't manipulate the wine. And the purity of the Sangiovese grape in Montalcino is unlike anywhere else in Italy and the world. So why on earth would you trifle with what nature has made so perfectly?
Giuseppe Sesti happens to agree. He makes Brunello the way they are meant to be made. His Brunellos say "Made in Montalcino" from the moment you open the bottle.
Sesti is an accidental winemaker. He is an astronomy historian and spent most of adult life staring at the stars and in 1975, when he bought the Castello di Argiano, he wasn’t even remotely contemplating making wine. In fact, he had been looking for a country house where he could settle down with his family and write about the stars and planets. When he arrived in the village of Sant’Angelo in southern Montalcino, Sesti and his wife Sarah literally almost stumbled into the property. It was so completely run down and dilapidated that chickens were pecking around the living room and a tree was growing through the non-existent roof. But Sesti and Sarah fell in love with it. A massive restoration process began and Sesti went on to write several successful books on the history of stars.
Of course, how can one live in Montalcino and not be fall in love with Brunello and want to wrap your arms around it? “Steaming plates of pasta with tomato and garlic sauce, wild boar, pecorino cheese, all accompanied by vintages of Brunello,” Sesti says. “That’s heaven!”
In 1990, he planted several hectares of sangiovese grapes from cuttings from the Il Poggione estate nearby. And having absorbed a vast knowledge of viticulture over the decades he spent with local winemakers, he began to make his own wine, which soon developed a strong cult following. Sesti does not follow trends. He doesn’t believe in creating a wine that does not have an identity. His brunello is traditional, showcasing all the power and elegance of the terroir, a beautiful expression of the true Sangiovese character.
Of course, his passion for astronomy also came in handy as the vineyard and winemaking processes are dictated by the phases of the moon, as well as being completely natural and organic. No herbicides or pesticides, he also keeps sulfites at a bare minimum because according to him bottling the wine when the moon is waning is less shocking and reduces the need for sulfites.
Giuseppe Sesti’s brunellos are real stars from Montalcino.
Try this deep crimson elixir with our dry-aged rib eye next door at Eli's Table.
The wines we carry:
Brunello Phenomena 2006
Brunello 2005 magnums