The Girl from Montosoli

Dec 4th 2020

The Girl from Montosoli

If top-scoring wines from the best wine regions spark your interest, I'd like to recommend Cerbaia Brunello 2015.

This 95-point gem from Montosoli is quite an accomplishment for Elena Pelegrini—it's only her second vintage since taking the helm from her father in 2014, and Cerbaia's best-scoring wine of its 50 year history.

To put Cerbaia's score in the perspective of the overall, highly-prized 2015 Brunello vintage, Decanter gave Cerbaia 93 points—vs 91 average for all Brunello '15s. And James Suckling also ranked Cerbaia among the top, with 95 points vs an average of 94+ for all 200+ Brunello '15s he rated.

Some Brunello fans will be drawn in by Cerbaia's Montosoli halo. With good reason, as some of the most sought-after Brunellos come from Montosoli—including Baricci, Salvioni, Valdicava, and Cerbaia's next-door neighbor, Sassetti-Pertimali.

This is not to suggest that simply being in Montosoli is a guarantee of quality—it's always more complicated than "zone" proponents might wish.

Cerbaia is a case in point. Even though Elena's father first planted the estate almost 50 years ago with the highest of standards—farming organically and green harvesting (even though it was considered heretical back then)—Cerbaia's high elevation, north-east exposure required some extra finesse.

And that is what Elena has delivered. She has made careful changes to soften tannins, taking cues from her brother-in-law Livio Sassetti to create a silkier style.

She also continues to rely on her tiny 4.5 ha estate for her entire production—in other words, 100% of Cerbaia's fruit comes the estate to assure quality. This is truly a single-vineyard Montosoli.

(By the way, single-vineyard Montosoli distinguishes Cerbaia from the similarly-sounding Cerbaiona -- which is in SE Montalcino; and Casanuovo del Cerbaia, which uses only a tiny amount of Montosoli fruit in their Brunello.)

Cerbaia's label makes it easy for consumers to recognize and remember ("cervo" means deer in Italian) and conveys its special location next to the historic Cerbaia fortress.

And let's not forget "value". It's one of the best values in the market, especially for single-vineyard Montosoli. 

When I reflect on all the important themes for customers today -

  • authenticity
  • diversity
  • organic production
  • unassailable quality
  • value

- I feel so fortunate to work with Cerbaia.

And I trust you will too.