The sunflower lion
Stefano Leonucci is a dynamic and charming man who has always been a farmer and is famous in the area he lives for his sunflower production. Although he is a recognized expert on this plant, for some time now he has gotten into winemaking. His estate is situated between Colvalenza and the Flaminia way and while it is within in the area that qualifies for a Colli Martani DOC classification, he has never used this for any of his products. This is because he feels the requirements to obtain the protected designation of origin status is too restrictive for his vision of his wine and, in the end, “it does not help to sell” the wine.
He makes his wines from the Sagrantino and Merlot from his vineyards and we liked the Montignanello 2012 quite a bit, while the 2013 only came out a few months ago. The wine is named after the town the vineyards are located in and the soil there is mostly clay with some lime and sand. The blend is predominately Sagrantino which ages in American and French oak barriques, while the Merlot that makes up the rest of the blend is made in stainless steel. The Sagrantino ages for 12 months before it is blended with the Merlot and bottled, after which it ages in the bottle until Stefano feels it is ready.
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A blend of 85% Sagrantino and 15% Merlot of which some 14,000 bottle are produced a year. The wine has an intense, bright ruby color while the aroma is clear and intense after a little breathing the...