Montesecondo | Organic estate in the commune of San Casciano in Val di Pesa in the Chianti Classico DOCG region of Tuscany, Italy. Silvio Messana and Catalina Messana took over here in 2004. Montesecondo had originally been bought by Silvio’s father Tommaso, in 1963. He died in 1978. Silvio eventually succeeded him, having wanted to move to America to become a professional musician, but instead took over after his mother had been unable to find a buyer. The estate is a member of the Renaissance des Appellations group of biodynamic wineries.
Toad logo | The “singing” toads made them chose a prince toad as logo for their wines.
Vineyards | Montesecondo comprises two separate vineyards in San Casciano, located roughly 11.2 miles (18km) apart and on distinct terroirs in La Romola and Vignano (see below). Silvio told me (in 2018) that the La Romala vines were picked roughly 7-10 days before those in Vignano.
Vineyard in La Romola | The original family vineyard called Montesecondo is located north of Cerbaia, a town 10 miles (15 km) south of Florence and in the La Romola sub-zone in the NW of the township. There are 20 hectares of land here of which (in 2018) 11.5 hectares (28.4 acres) are vineyards. The soil is calcareous clay and in some points sandy. The grape varieties are mainly Sangiovese, with smaller amounts of Canaiolo (about 5%), Colorino (about 3%), Cabernet Sauvignon (1ha for the ‘Rosso del Rospo’) and Petit Verdot. The old vineyards are on average 30 years old and were planted with a density of 3,300 vines/ha and yield approximately 30hl/ha. The new vineyards were planted with a density of 6,250 plants/hectare and yield approximately 40 hl/ha. The altitude is around 200 metres.
Vineyard in Vignano | The second vineyard is rented. It is located in the Vignano sub-zone at 450 metres in the far south-east of the San Casciano township, near the border with Greve in Chianti directly to the south. This is in a cooler site in terms of both soil type (limestone) and altitude, here the altitude being between 450-500 metres. In 2018 there were 6ha (14.8 acres) of vines (Sangiovese and Trebbiano Toscano).
Polyculture | Olives. Horses. Cover crops.
Biodynamic | 2004 The farm began following biodynamic principles. | 2012 Horn manure 500 and Prepared Horn manure 500P were being used (Horn silica 501 was not being used). The preparations came from Carlo Noro and Le Madre. 300-litre copper dynamiser from Eco-Dyn in France.
Organic certification | 2007 First vintage with full organic certification. | 2016 Still certified organic. | 2019 Member of Renaissance des Appellations.
Tin | 2014 100% Trebbiano Toscano. 6 months on skins. In amphora (made in Spain). Savoury, saline (VinItaly 2016).
Chianti Classico DOCG, Montesecondo | 2008 Ripe earthy fruit, ready (Natural Wine Fair 2011). | 2009 80% Sangiovese, 20% Canaiolo & Colorino. Aged in 500l tonneaux. 10,000 bottles. Crisp, understated, good (RAW 2012). | 2013 13 mg/l total sulfites (RAW 2015). | 2014 12.5%. | 2015 Bold likeable style (Anteprima 2018). | 2016 Fermented in concrete tanks. Aged in 500-litre tonneaux. Soft, bold, likeable (Anteprima 2018). | 2017 90% Sangiovese, 5% each Canaiolo and Colorino.
IGT Toscana Rosso, Montesecondo | 2009 80% Sangiovese, 20% Canaiolo. | 2010 100% Sangiovese. Steel. Clean, light, fresh, understated, good (RAW 2012). | 2013 30 mg/l total sulfites (RAW 2015).
IGT Toscana Rosso, Tin | 2013 27 mg/l total sulfites (RAW 2015). | 2015 100% Sangiovese. Aged in amphora. Some cheese (reduction) but very transparent (VinItaly 2016). | 2016 100% Sangiovese. Destemmed. Fermented and left on skins for 6 months (MLF takes place on skins). Drained, pressed, and the first addition of sulfites is made. Interesting sappy texture and flavour (Anteprima 2018).
IGT Toscana Rosso, Petit Verre d’Ot | The name is a play on’Petit Verdot’, the grape variety from which this wine is made.| 2005 Sweet berry fruit, acid and alcohol, rather polished (Natural Wine Fair 2011).
IGT Toscana Rosso, Pinot Nero
IGT Toscana Rosso, Il Rosso del Rospo | 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon. Modern oak, acid (Natural Wine Fair 2011). | 2010 From 1.5ha of Cabernet. Cabernet spent 3 months on skins in amphora. Nice red berry, understated, good (RAW 2012). | 2013 47 mg/l total sulfites (RAW 2015). |2014 Delicious light fruit (VinItaly 2016).
Via Per Cerbaia, 18 – Cerbaia
I-50026 San Casciano Val di Pesa (FI = Firenze), Italy / www.montesecondo.com
Chianti Classico Anteprima, Stazione Leopolda, Florence on Monday 12th February 2018.
Chianti Classico Anteprima 2019, Stazione Leopolda, Florence on Monday 11th February.
Natural Wine Fair 2011, Borough Market, London, 15-17 May.
RAW 2012, London Sunday/Monday 20-21st May.
RAW 2015, London Sunday/Monday 17-18 May.