BIONDI-SANTI is an estate winery in Montalcino in Tuscany, one of Italy’s most renowned, occupying the Tenuta Greppo just south-east of the town, and approached via a long line of cypress trees. The estate is no longer owned or run by the eponymous founding family. Its origins date from the 16th-century. It was owned for 7 generations by the Biondi-Santi family. Clemente Santi won a citation for a ‘Brunello’ in 1865. His son Ferruccio began isolating his best Sangiovese vines (‘Sangiovese Grosso’ as it was then known), work which ultimately led him to be considered to father of Brunello as a the 100% Sangiovese red wine. Ferruccio’s son was Tancredi (d1970). He was succeeded by his son Franco who developed a strain of Sangiovese called BBS11 which is now a commercially available clone. Franco Biondi-Santi began working with the University of Florence on this from 1971, continuing the work of his father and grandfather. This led to the isolating of the thicker skinned BBS11 clone of Sangiovese. Jacopo Biondi Santi took over here in 2013 after the death of his father Franco but soon sold the estate to French owners. 

MAIN WINES | Its main wines are Sant’Antimo Rosso DOC, Rosso di Montalcino DOC and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.   

VINEYARDS | Tenuta Il Greppo. The highest point here is 507m (1,663ft). South, southeast and east exposure. The altitude cools the grapes at night, maintaining marked levels of acidity. Then the grapes warm quickly in the morning. They ripen slowly, providing aromatic richness. Harvest is about two weeks later than in Sant’Angelo, for example. | 2017 26ha.

PINK WINES

ROSATO | This is available from the estate and is not sold commercially.

RED WINES

ROSSO DI MONTALCINO | From younger vines. | 2011 Rosso di Montalcino, Biondi Santi–Tenuta Greppo On 5th Feb 2015 Serena Giardini said by ‘phone “2011. Hot dry summer. Younger vines from 4-10 years old for Rosso. Bunch selection. 300 metres. West-facing. Aged in Slavonian botti. Come anche per il Brunello, sia Annata che Riserva, anche per il Rosso di Montalcino 2011 Biondi Santi–Tenuta Greppo viene fatta in vigna una pre-selezione delle uve.”

BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO DOCG2003 Harvest from 4th September. The earliest recorded. | 2004 Bottled. | 2008 Spicy nose at DWWA 02nd May 2013. Silver. | 2009 £15-29.99. Lovely clarity, red cherry, depth, firm and ripe, good. 16.9 Points. Bronze at DWWA 2nd May 2013. Very nice, crisp, complex tannin at ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Artisanal Wines’, VinItaly 24th March 2015.

BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO DOCG RISERVA, TENUTA GREPPO | 1983 Bottled. | 1997 14%. | 2006 Bottled. | 2007 Open-knit cedar/balsamic nose which is quite evolved, with dry but sticky tannin and fruit, a combo that means it lacks a little focus and harmony – although one might argue this increases its savoury appeal. 16 Points. Silver at DWWA 30th April 2013. | 2011 #1 corky. #2 Not much depth and a bit dry with Susan Hulme MW at Osticcio in Montalcino mid-afternoon Friday 19th February 2016.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bill Nesto MW & Frances Di Savino, Chianti Classico, the Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine, (University of California Press, 2016).

CONTACT

Biondi-Santi

Tenuta Greppo, Villa Greppo, 183

I-53024 Montalcino (SI = Siena), Italy

Tel+39 0577.848087 | www.biondisanti.it