Sassodisole is an organic estate winery in Località Santa Giulia in Torrenieri, in north-east Montalcino.

Background: Founder-owner Roberto Terzuoli (an only son) is a trained agronomist. Between 1997–2005 he worked for Franco Biondi-Santi at the Biondi-Santi estate. Roberto met his wife Erika Belviso at Biondi-Santi and they have a son, Tommaso. The land was originally part of the nearby Santa Giulia (where Roberto used to live). Santa Giulia was founded in 1946 after World War Two by Roberto’s grandfather Gino and grandmother Giuseppina. Gino already had a podere in Castiglione d’Orcia but left to move here, gaining title to the estate in 1959. Their children were Bruno (married to Graziella Bindi) and Lido. When Bruno and Lido inherited the estate it was divided into two, leaving half of the original SantaGiulia with Lido (and now his son Gianluca Terzuoli) and creating Sassodisole out of the other half under Bruno and Graziella, and now their son Roberto Terzuoli. The first vines were planted in 1998, and the first wines were bottled in 2001.

Staff: Lorenzo Moscatelli (sales); Sofia Bava.

Farm land2018 There are 90 hectares (222 acres) of land in total. Of this around 80 hectares is arable land given to field crops such as durum wheat (grano duro), Egyptian clover (trifoglio alessandrino), and squarosum clover (Trifoglio squarrosum) which is grown as animal fodder. Roberto sells the seeds to an organic cattle farmer in Sardinia. He also grows sunflowers, beans (favino) and alfalfa (lucerne), a member of the pea family used for forage.

Olive trees: 2 hectares are olive groves.

Vineyards: Around 10 hectares of vineyards, located in Torrenieri. Can make 4 hectares worth of Brunello, 1ha of Rosso di Montalcino DOC and 4ha of Orcia DOC. Will plant 2ha in 2018 new land he bought. 100% Sangiovese (R24 and CH20 on Paulsen 775). Planted from 1997. The plots are called Piaggione, Bosco, Borghetto, Frutti, Cantina, Pentagono and Casa. Three main plots with various expositions, mainly west-south-west towards Montalcino. Located at an altitude of between 280 and 320 metres above sea level with south-south-west exposure. Pliocene soils. Clay soils containing rock fragments (Terreni a medio impasto di origine pliocenica con presenza di scheletro.). Not homogeneous. Zoning hard as very varied. 3.6 hectares (8.9 acres) of Brunello, 1 hectare (2.47 acres) of Rosso di Montalcino and 3 hectares (7.4 acres) of Orcia Rosso planted in 2013 with 2 hectares (4.9 acres) more planting rights for Orcia Rosso. Terzuoli planted at fairly wide spacing of 4,800 vines|ha (2.6m x 0.80m) or 3,800 vines|ha (3.0m x 0.80m). This was to avoid humidity and a lack of air flow. Around 330 metres above sea level. Soil pH is around 7.7.

Organic certification2017 First vintage with full organic certification.

Winemaking: Still red wines: Pied de cuve. Fermentation and MLF in stainless steel. Rack-and-return. Auto-remontage with 5-6 brief pump overs per day which is what Roberto learnt at Biondi-Santi. Cooling. Micro-ox a bit but not too much. Roberto’s grandfather Gino would wait for MLF to happen when temperatures warmed up in spring but Roberto Terzuoli prefers MLF to follow immediately after alcoholic fermentation (he can warm the vats if needed). Ageing in 35hl and 50hl Slavonian oak vats (‘Grandi botti da 35 e 50hl in rovere di Slavonia’).

Sparkling wines

Spumante Rosato Brut: 100% Sangiovese. Charmat method. Short skin contact (a few hours). Base wine ferments for 25 days or so. Secondary fermentation in autoclave for 120 days.

Red wines

Orcia Sangiovese DOC: 2015 100% Sangiovese from Montalcino commune. 11,000 bottles. Japan main market; and Brazil (hot = want fluid wines, like beer). Chalky-chunky, easy crisp fruit, needs a bit of bottle age (Visit 24 Oct 2016). | 2011 100% Sangiovese. 8 months in Slavonian oak. Plenty of texture allied to delicate fruit (28 Oct 2013). | 2013 14%. 100% Sangiovese. Fermentation in stainless steel. Wild yeast via a pied de cuve. On skins for around two weeks. Naturally settles in stainless steel. MLF in steel, 8 months Slavonian oak. Light

Rosso di Montalcino DOC2004 Light, fluid young vine wine with short-haul light redcurrant fruit (Anteprima 2006). | 2009 Took a day of having been opend to settle down and find its feet when tasted in Torrenieri in Nov 2013. | 2011 10 months in botti. Around 8,000 bottles. Sweeter and more elegant than the 2009 when (25 Nov 2013). Nice open ripe and balanced style, nice and fresh (Anteprima 2014). | 2012 8,000 botttes. Decent, simple red and black fruit, bit heavy (Anteprima 2015). | 2013 14.7%. Bright, soft, not dense, nice mid-palate (Visit 25 Oct 2013). Around 10-15,000 bottles usually. Clean and ripe, nice firm wild fruit, sticky too but good (Anteprima 2016). | 2014 Crisp red mint plum, softens after 5 minutes, savoury fruit and cream (Visit 24 Oct 2016).

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG: Aged in Slavonian botti. | 2001 Debut. Not made here. Made at Santa Giulia. No chilling. Roberto’s grandad helped I think. Some foot treading, wooden vats. Well balanced year. Bottled by hand. Really nice, bit of sour, but wild and rustic but very nice. Still has 0.5 hectares of his grandfather’s vines from the 1950s. Peppery fruit, chocolate tannin (Anteprima 2006). | 2002 2,000 bottles. Made here for the first time. A bit animal, and orange fruit, starting to fade but still OK. Licorice (visit,18 July 2018). | 2003 5,000 bottles. Some richness (hot season) but with no real middle, a tiny bit sour if pleasingly plump (visit, 18 July 2018). | 2004 9,000 bottles. Well made, savoury, a bit sour and simple, but well weighted in terms of extraction (visit, 18 July 2018). | 2005 9,000 bottles. A bit animal, a bit bacon, starting to fade (visit, 18 July 2018). | 2006 Hot year. 11,000 bottles. 14.5% alcohol. Good Sangiovese nose, delicate and typical, with a realistic colour too, well made, elegant, not too extracted or oaky, refreshing (28th Oct 2013). Nice clear nose, smells ‘classic’. Very nice fruit, density and clarity (visit, 18 July 2018). | 2007 11,000 bottles (13,000 bottles?). Roberto told me at the winery on 25 Oct 2013 he felt 2007 was ‘a good vintage, more complex than 2008’ and I agree. Smells a bit reductive. Sweet fruit, slightly drying tannins. Wild, licorice, bacon too (visit, 18 July 2018). | 2008 9,000 bottles. This needed a couple of days opened to settle (early November 2013), had a rich-ripe Sangiovese aroma but without being heavy, a deepish core but brighter rim, and rich (rather than sweet I would say) tannins supported by a hint of wood. Another bottle: some bacon notes initially, nice acidity, warmth to the fruit (visit, 18 July 2018). | 2009 14,000 bottles. A ‘good vintage’ Roberto told me at the winery on 25 Oct 2013. Nice weight, well made, sweet fruit (Anteprima 2014). | 14%. L.13254. Light ruby garnet. Shy nose with some herb and wild red berries. Warm. Seems savoury. Quite a firm entry but the tannins have been well handled with just a hint of sweetn’sour, then some fresh cranberry to the finish which has moderate length. Nice minor key red which is not reliant on over-extraction or oak at the Consorzio Tues 27th May 2014 with Ian d’Agata and others. Not bad for dinner with Savino who had cooked a matriciana (11 Nov 2014). | 2010 13,200 bottles. Nice, crisp, bright fruit, gentle end (Anteprima 2015). | 2011 Spicy, ripe-pruney style, nice weight, decent, ready (Anteprima 2016). Nice elegant fluid earth-smoke, leather, sweet fruit and savoury tannin with appealing frankness (Visit 24 Oct 2016). | 2012 Sapid, fluid, maybe a bit sour, easy, fluid (Anteprima 2017). | 2014 Decent plum fruit, savoury and fluid with freshness and balance (Anteprima 2019).

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva: 2004 Debut. | 2006 Filled out after a day, attractive red black fruit, ripeness, quite a pleasant surprise in (16 June 2014). | 2007 4,040 bottles. Lovely sweet fruit, plenty of savoury fruit (Anteprima 2016). | 2012 14.5% alc. 0,5g|l residual sugar. Fermented in stainless steel. Aged 4 years in 35-50hl wooden vats of 35–50hl. | 2014 14% alc.

Contact

SassodiSole

Podere Santa Giulia 1º 48|A

I-53024 Torrenieri (SI = Siena)

Tel+39 0577.834303 | www.sassodisole.it

Bibliography

Visit with Einar Fjoran’s Norwegians on Monday afternoon 24th October 2016.

Visit 18 July 2018 for a vertical tasting.