Località Argiano, Montalcino is a locality in Sant’Angelo in Colle in the south-west of the Montalcino region of Italy, among its most renowned zones. It lies around 5 miles (8 kilometres) south-south-west of Montalcino town centre, between Sant’Angelo in Colle to the east, and Poggio alle Mura (see Banfi) to the west. Argiano comprises a high plateau (‘altopiano‘) or ridge at an elevation of about 250-350 metres (820-1,160 feet), open to the sun and air, and more windy than the lower lying Tavernelle, Santa Restituta area not far to the north-north east. The summit of Argiano is named after “Ara Jani”, meaning the altar of Janus, a Roman god. It is also a key strategic point between Florence and Rome and an ideal place for winegrowing.
History: The hamlet of Argiano appears to have been first mentioned in 830 AD when Ludovico il Pio wrote that holding of the Argiano church had been gifted to the abbot of the nearby Sant’Antimo abbey (Ian d’Agata, 2019).
Terroir: Soils in the Argiano area are calcium-rich and contain clay as well as plenty of pietrisco or rubble of stony alluvial wash or sediments, and sand (alluvial clay soils with sand and marine fossils, says Ian d’Agata, 2019). Thus, despite its elevation above sea level Argiano is still considered an alluvial terroir. The soils are deep enough to prevent hydric stress. The solar location, airflow and good drainage means the vines stay healthy. The elevation produces cool nights and high day-night thermic variations, and provides high luminosity. The combination of the solar environment, cool nights and deep soils means Argiano Brunellos can be deemed hybrids of Montalcino’s warm south and cooler north, namely deep wines, with very elegant tannins, balanced fruit and strong aromas.
Wine style: Ian d’Agata (2019, p.294) described the wines as having ‘supple texture’ and with ‘a perfume menthol note. A fascinating terroir, with the potential for truly great wines’.
Certified organic: Tenuta di Argiano.
No certification: Sesti (Castello di Argiano).
Dr Ian d’Agata, Native Wine Grape Terroirs (University of California Press, 2019), p.294.