Based in the north of the appellation, near the town of Montalcino itself, Il Palazzone is known for producing traditional, refined Brunello. The philosophy is terroir and tradition focused- they believe that it is the Montalcino climate which is primarily responsible for the quality of their wines- that man’s job is to add nothing and simply allow this to be communicated, and that the traditional methods do this most effectively.
Based in the north of the appellation, near the town of Montalcino itself, Il Palazzone is known for producing traditional, refined Brunello. For the last two years it has been owned by an American couple, Kirsten & Peter Kern; lifelong lovers of Sangiovese and Brunello in particular, they are focussed on quality above all else. The estate is now managed by Tullia Battaglia and Daniele D’Antoni, two locals who know Montalcino and its vineyards like the back of their hands.
The philosophy is terroir and tradition focussed- they believe that it is the Montalcino climate which is primarily responsible for the quality of their wines- that man’s job is to add nothing and simply allow this to be communicated, and that the traditional methods do this most effectively. The estate’s small size, just 5ha, makes this level of care and focus possible, everything can be done by hand. They follow organic practices, no chemicals are used in the vines, and flowers and grass are allowed to grow between the rows. Three of their five hectares are in the north of the zone, with two in the south. The North, cooler and higher at 300-600ms, is known for giving structured, sophisticated wines with fine tannins and cool, reserved fruit. They are often the longest lived Brunelli. In the south, where the vines are usually lower, one finds more concentration and richness. The Il Palazzone vines average around 35-years old.
In the cellar wine maker Paola Martino is advised by local consultant Maurizio Castelli. Castelli works for many of the top producers and is known for his traditional approach to Brunello. Fermentations take place in new concrete vats, which the team values over the stainless steel, too clinical, they were using before. After fermentation all wines are moved to large Slovenian oak barrels. These old ‘Botti’ give no flavour to the wine but helps to create its texture.
| Rosso del Palazzone L01/22, Vino di Tavola [Read More]|
This is a marvellous wine. On tasting it in our office, the bottle joined us for lunch afterwards and disappeared in no time – always a good sign! Rather than make a standard Rosso de Montalcino, Palazzone do things differently. Their “vino de toto jour” comes from botti which were not selected for Brunello and is made by blending two recent vintages, allowing the team to produce a more consistent wine. This is an old Italian practice which small farmers would have used for their personal wines. It is normally 60-70% from the most recent vintage, and the rest from the year before, but the proportion isn’t fixed, rather the blend is about finding the balance they want. The result is a brilliantly drinkable wine, transparent ruby in the glass and bursting with notes of crisp cherry and summer flowers. It is fresh and vivacious, cooly textured and has an inner core of richness which is almost Pinot-esque. With time in the glass a richer side to the fruit begins to show, sleek and red. Very food friendly, just gorgeous with a plate of salumi, served a little cool this is going to be my wine of the summer, I can already tell!
| Brunello di Montalcino [Read More]|
From a full bodied and ripe vintage, the Palazzone 2017 shows us the estate’s desire and ability to make wines of finesse. It is very pretty in the glass, a transparent ruby with some shades of terracotta. A perfumed red currants, rose petal and cherry nose leads to a fine, pure, and elegant palate, with a beautifully silky grain of tannin and crisp red fruits mingling with darker, richer flavours. There’s a definite minerality to the long finish, a cool line which lifts and tightens the wine, giving it a beautiful sense of focus. Proper Brunello, serious stuff but beautifully refined.
| Brunello di Montalcino Due Porte [Read More]|
This vineyard surrounds the winery and is one of the highest altitude plots in Montalcino. This height brings cooler temperatures and winds, slowing ripening and producing structured wines with cool fruit and finesse. Due Porte always gives a long-lived wine. The 2016, from perhaps the finest recent vintage, certainly shows this hallmark- a deep, mineral structure which underpins the cool, tight fruit and weaves together flavours of leather, anise, and sweet spice. Long and fine, the tannins on the finish are a little drier, less silky, suggesting a few more years in bottle will see this get even better. Superb wine.
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