Azienda Agricola Col di Lamo is an organic estate winery in Torrenieri in the north-eastern part of the Montalcino zone in Tuscany. It was founded and is owned by Giovanna (“Gianna”) Neri. Her main wines are Rosso di Montalcino DOC and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.
Owner: Gianna Neri began her activity in 1997, initially selling her grapes to fund the building of a winery. Gianna had attended the University in Siena where she studied, graduating in Law. In 1991, after her father died suddenly, her career path changed. In 1994, after Gianna’s daughter Diletta was born, Gianna and her brother Giacomo Neri decided to split the family estate. Giacomo created Casanova di Neri from his share, and Gianna created Azienda Agricola Col di Lamo from her share. Her first wine, Lamo (Sangiovese & Cabernet Sauvignon), was released in 2003. Lamo is the name of one of the ‘poderi’ (farms) Gianna owns and where are situated her office and winery. Her other ‘podere’ is called Colombaia. The original vineyards produced low yields and had to be replanted on different ground.
Staff: Consultants are Mary Ferrara (vineyards) and Mauricio Castelli (winemaking).
Vineyards: 2018 80 hectares (197.6 acres) of land of which 4.5 hectares (11.1 acres) of vines: 3 hectares (7.41 acres) of Brunello and 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres) of Rosso. The estate lies on the outskirts of Torrenieri, near to where her father’s vines were – there were 4.2 hectares (19.4 acres) of vines in the 1970s of which half went to Gianna and half to the brother Giacomo Neri of Casanova di Neri. She replanted her father’s vineyard (‘Podere Alta’) and added 3 hectares (7.41 acres) of her own vines. Gianna named her oldest vineyard after her daughter, Diletta. This consists of 1 hectare (2.47 acres) planted around 2000 (on 420A, a rootstock which is not too vigorous). The soil is white clay with sand. Her best wine comes from this plot.
Aspect: Col di Lamo’s vineyards are east-facing in a valley in which mornings are cold and afternoons are warm without being excessively torrid because unlike west-facing vineyards there is no extreme afternoon heat. This aids Sangiovese which performs best if it can ripen slowly (it can be astringent if it suffers sunburn).
Organic certification: 2015 First vintage with full organic certification.
Winery: New gravity-fed underground winery was completed in 2015.
Winemaking: No temperature control. Pick early morning to get cool grapes. Have isolated yeasts from the vineyards. Ferment at 29ºC to 32ºC ferment. Pausch vats. Moving to cement tanks. The Rosso sees some wood too.
Toscana Rosso IGT, Lamo: Named after one of the estate’s two poderi. Soil of tuffaceous clay, (very rich in fossilised sea shells). Around 300 metres average. 4,000 vines per hectare. Bilateral cordon. Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Col di Lamo: 2015 Fluid, smooth-sappy, delicate and salty, bright, very good (Visit 2020). | 2017 13.5% alc. 6,666 bottles. Smooth, juicy, sappy fruit, well made (Visit July 2020). | 2018 7,000 bottles.
Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Colombaio: From 1.5ha of vines. | 2003 Gianna Neri’s first wine. | 2012 6,600 bottles. Quite evolved, bit tight, very primary (Anteprima 2014). | 2014 6,666 bottles of Rosso (no Brunello made). Delicate clear red fruit at Gianna’s post-Anteprima party Feb 2016.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Col di Lamo: From all vineyards, including Diletta. Normally 6,000-10,000 bottles. | 2003 Debut vintage. Hot year. Looking good, bit of blur at the end by well made and nice thickness without being heavy (Visit 23 March 2018. | 2005 13.5%. Aged in botti. Nice sweet fruit, bright, balsamic nose, appealing at a BBQ dinner at Gianna’s with Simon Taylor’s family and Sil on Tuesday 07th October 2014. | 2006 14%. Gianna says she prefers 2006 to 2005 as it is more elegant; to me it was rich, lots of fruit at a BBQ dinner at Gianna’s with Simon Taylor’s family and Sil on Tuesday 07th October 2014. Definitely ready to drink now, going it a bit vegetal (Visit 23 March 2018). | 2007 Nice bright red fruit, elegant, bit of grub at the end at a BBQ dinner at Gianna’s with Simon Taylor’s family and Silvana on Tuesday 07th October 2014. | Again nice fruit, salty, good width. Bit sticky maybe at the end (Visit 23 March 2018). | 2008 More youthful and citrussy compared to 2007 at a BBQ dinner at Gianna’s with Simon Taylor’s family and Sil on Tuesday 07th October 2014. | 2009 14%. L04/13 SI8992. Cedar hue from core to rim. Attractively open red fruit nose with evolution. Smells as if it is going to be savoury and is, with mid-weight, round fruit backed up with punchy grape tannins and oak tannins which edge towards smokey bitterness. Well-weighted wine with the right level of fruit/oak for early to mid-term drinking (ie by 2017) at the Consorzio Tues 27th May 2014 with Ian d’Agata and others. Exotic nose, bit confected, no great middle at a BBQ dinner at Gianna’s with Simon Taylor’s family and Sil on Tuesday 07th October 2014. | 2010 10,000 bottles. Just bottled = bit closed, cedary, prune, linear, nice tannin, sapid, savoury sweet fruit, good at a BBQ dinner at Gianna’s with Simon Taylor’s family and Sil on Tuesday 07th October 2014. Licorice, still firm, twisty tannins, needs a bit more time. Ripe fruit again (Visit 23 March 2018). | 2011 14%. L04/15. Made by D’Afflito. 20 days in steel then 24m in 50hl botti. Bottled, but not made, under the supervison of Maurizio Castelli. Somewhat evolved at Viale Piave 32 on Sat 15th April 2017 (sample give to me by Gianna Neri). Firmer, crisper compared to the 2012, easier to drink too. Salty again. Nice. Polished, hint of modernism with a touch of green at the back (Visit Friday 23 March 2018). | 2012 Bottled, but not made, under the supervison of Maurizio Castelli. Lovely sweet fruit, some light blur, attractive, easy enjoyable style, plump, darkish fruit and soft tannins (Anteprima 2017). Some blur/brett? again in a bottle Gianna gave me L03/16 in Viale Piave 32 April 2017. | 2012 Made by Niccolo D’Afflito. Lovely crunch and texture, nice bright flavour and ripeness. Very sapid, saline, clear style. Mid-weight and a good expression of its terroir (Visit 23 March 2018). | 2013 Made by Niccolò D’Afflito. | 2014 Only light pump overs given the poor vintage. Sold in bulk. | 2015 14% alc. 20,000 bottles. Maurizio Castelli’s first vintage at Col di Lamo. And it shows, with a smooth, unforced, mid-weight mouthwateringly sappy and clearly fruited Brunello, with no attempt to force the tannins, the oak, or the mouthfeel. Less is more (Visit 2020). | 2018 This will be the first vintage for which Maurizio Castelli will consult in both vineyards and winery.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva, Col di Lamo: 2,000 bottles. Bright, sappy, salty, very well integrated fruit and oak (Visit 2020).
Azienda Agricola Col di Lamo di Neri Gianna
Podere Grosseto n° 28,
I-53024 Montalcino (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 0577.8344333 | www.coldilamo.com