Tucked away off the Tuscan coast in the chalky gravel and clay hills of Suvereto lies the 30-hectare Montepeloso estate.
Under the guidance of the original owners, Willi and Doris Neukom, Montepeloso established itself as one of Tuscany’s most exciting estates. Swiss-born Fabio Chiarelotto bought the estate in 1998. He was entranced with the Neukom’s wines but was also convinced that they fell short of the terroir’s true potential.
Climatically warmer than interior Tuscany, Suvereto naturally limits yields and is capable of producing wines with great concentration and perfume. Chiarelotto admits about his wine that it’s "easy produce concentrated wines in such a hot climate…but it’s much harder to achieve elegance and finesse."
While a unique site is important for great wine, an inspired winemaker is also required. The introspective Chiarelotto had little interest in the guidance of fashionable enologists. He was determined to follow his own path. He brought with him a clear vision of the singular wines he felt the estate could yield. His obsession is such that there are few others with which to compare.
Chiarelotto overhauled the vineyards within a year of purchase: retraining and regrafting thousands of vines. He accepted drastically reduced production over the first few years in order to achieve great wines. In the cellar, Chiarelotto sought ways to soften the tannins, refine the aromatics, and better integrate the oak. With each succeeding vintage, he gets closer to his ideal.
A Montepeloso buzz has spread over Europe and has leapt across Atlantic. Collectors view Montepeloso as the most beautiful, profound and expressive of the Tuscan "new wave." Production will increase as young vines reach maturity. Unfortunately for now, these wines remain among Italy's elite rarities.