Owner: Luciano Ciolfi (who also does some consulting). He is married to Lusy Rossi (a hairdresser. Salon next to Ticci in Torrenieri). The estate passed to current incumbent Luciano Ciolfi via his grandfather Bramante Ferretti (b.3rd May 1915). Bramante’s son Guido Ferretti bought the land–mainly woodland at the time–from what is now Tenuta di Argiano in 1950. The land was too poor for grain and forage. The family had a few pigs, sheep, cows and fowl. The estate is somewhat isolated, with woodland on three sides and the other (to the north) is bordered by a road.
Guido had the piece of land on the north (Loacker side) of the road which now has olives on, and added land on the other (south) side where the house, winery and vines are now, buying the land again from Argiano. In 1961 Bramante inherited half of his father’s estate [one hectare of vines, mixed with olives and fruit for family use], and bought the other from his brother. Bramante had two daughters, one of whom left the estate and the other, Fiorella, who is Luciano’s mother (she married Paolo Ciolfi, Luciano’s father). There are still 6 rows dating from 1972 (they have esca). In 1992 Luciano’s father Paolo planted a plot of vines. Luciano stopped selling grapes in 2004.
Consultants: Oenologist: Claudio Gori. Agronomist: Massimo Achilli.
Vineyards: 2015 4.7ha. Terroir: Sanlorenzo lies on the south-west side of Montalcino. Altitude of 500 metres (feet). Can see Corsica on a clear day–usually in winter. Generally clayey and rocky terrain. 400 metres-plus. Near neighbours are Loacker Tenuta Pavone, on the crest of the hills that stretch softly towards the river Ombrone (although you cannot see the Ombrone from here).
There are 4.7ha of 100% Sangiovese in four main vineyards [there were only 1.5ha of vines when Luciano Ciolfi took over]. They are located on the southern slopes of the property, with south or western exposure, depending on the natural setting of the terroir. The oldest vines date from the 1970s [check]. Spurred cordon , with vine densities of 3,000 vines/ha (older vines) and 4,500 vines/ha (newer vines). The vines were fenced to stop wild boar and roebuck. Every other row is cover cropped with broad beans or ‘favino’ (Vicia faba) and barley or ‘orzo’ (Hordeum vulgare). From here you can see Tenuta Friggiali to the south, and Poggio Antico, and Pietrafocaia (which see).
Pests: Luciano told me he was using Koppert’s Spical+ to tackle spider mites (the yellow one mainly, the red one is not so prevalent in Montalcino) at a cost of 300 euros per hectare, but once you create a good population of antagonists you don’t have to keep buying it.
Terroir: The land extends on both slopes of the hills: the woods with a northern exposure, towards the Arbia valley, the vineyards exposed south-west to the Maremma.
Organic certification: 2015 First vintage with full organic certification.
Winemaking: In November 2014 this became the first winery in Montalcino to buy an amphora. 100% fermented in steel. MLF in steel usually. Each plot has its own vat. Blending after fermentation. Brunello di Montalcino ages in botte (30hl and 1 x 10hl, and in tonneaux). The Riserva only ever comes from the same single plot. Brunello di Montalcino is not racked, just topped.
Rosso di Montalcino DOC: Aged on old oak barrels. 2017 5,000 bottles.
Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Bramante: 2003 Clean, soft and modern fruit expression (cultured yeast-driven I think), medicinal notes, oak and some Cabernet-like herbaceousness.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Sanlorenzo: 2014 Pretty nose, red fruit and violets, nice texture, plenty of brightness, succulent, good effort (Anteprima 2019).
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Bramante: From the best Brunello grapes not destined for the riserva (see below). Vinified in steel vats at controlled temperatures. Aged 3 years in wooden barrels from 30-35 hectolitres. | 2003 Bottled. | 2004 Bottled. | 2005 Bottled. | 2006 Bottled. | 2007 Bottled. | 2008 Bottled. | 2009 10,000 bottles. Bit hot and simple (Anteprima 2014). | 2009 L3/189. 13.5%. High tone nose, lacking some clarity, fruit seems a bit stretched over angular tannins (at the Consorzio Tues 27th May 2014 with Ian d’Agata and others). | 2010 12,000 bottles. Quite thick, bit of burn at end, solid, bit simple again (Anteprima 2015). | 2011 Quite tight and youthful (Anteprima 2016). | 2015 15,000 bottles.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva, Bramante: A selection of the best grapes. Fermented in stainless steel, aged 30-35hl oak vats for 36 months. | 2003 Bottled. | 2004 Bottled. | 2005 Bottled. | 2006 Bottled. | 2007 7,000 bottles. Rich, quite thick, but clean and ripe with new oak and glycerol and alcohol (Anteprima 2013). | 2008 10,000 bottles. Plump modern style, well made (Anteprima 2013).
Extra Virgin Olive oil: L’Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva Sanlorenzo is a blend made exclusively with Montalcino olives from a small olive grove located on the top of a hill facing north east. 200 olive trees of various cultivars (leccino, moraiolo, correggiolo), from which 400/500 litres of oil are produced every year, intended exclusively for haute cuisine.
Podere Sanlorenzo 280
I-53024 Montalcino (SI), Italy
Tel+39 0577.832965 | Website: www.poderesanlorenzo.it
Visit: Friday 29th May 2015.