Sant’Angelo is an extensive area in the south of Montalcino named after its two main areas of habitation, the hill-top hamlet of Sant’Angelo in Colle and the lower lying Sant’Angelo Scalo on the banks of the Orcia river, directly across from which lies the Montecucco DOC. The Argiano area lies within the broader Sant’Angelo zone. Three of Montalcino’s five largest estates are here, namely Banfi (Montalcino’s largest winery by far), Col d’Orcia, and Il Poggione. The Sant’Angelo area is said to account for around 35-40 percent of Montalcino’s total production (Kerin O’Keefe, 11 2006, p.79).
Climate: Saint’Angelo is the hottest, driest area of Montalcino, being directly exposed to air from the Tyrrhenian sea to the west which picks up heat as it crosses the Maremma on its way inland. Kerin O’Keefe (11 2006, p79) says summertime temperatures are 3-4ºC (5.4-7.2ºF) higher than in the more elevated Montalcino vineyards (found around the town itself) and annual rainfall averages 500mm (19.7 inches) rather than 700mm (27.5 inches) for the entire Montalcino area.
Wine style: Paolo Vagaggini told me (16 April 2015) ‘the Sant’Angelo in Colle area is a bit like the Sesta area, very individual. It can be too hot here. Hot climatic conditions and hot soils. The clay in the soil here gives wines which are quite strong [high in alcohol] and with good colour. This was why historically wines from this area were used by those in the cooler, higher northern areas of Montalcino for blending.’
Kerin O’Keefe, ‘Brunello’s moment of truth’, World of Fine Wine 11 2006 p.79
Paolo Vagaggini, interview on 16 April 2015.