Tenuta di Sesta is an estate winery in Località Sesta (hence the name) in the south-south-east Montalcino in Tuscany, Italy. Its main wines are Rosso di Montalcino DOC and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. In 2014 the USA was the main market for the wines.
Background: The Sesta estate was acquired by Felice and Giovanni Ciacci, two brothers from Castelnuovo dell’Abate, in 1850. They further expanded the estate by buying the surrounding property from the Grassi family, also from Montalcino. Over time the estate has diminished in size. The first bottles of Brunello from the Sesta estate were produced by Giuseppe Ciacci, father of the current owner, Giovanni, in 1966 (labelled ‘Vino Brunello’), the year in which Brunello was first recognized as DOC (now DOCG). At the time, there were only twelve local bottlers and, for this reason, the Sesta estate is deemed as one of the historic estates in the territory of Montalcino. In 1995 the original estate was divided among family members creating both Tenuta di Sesta under Giovanni Ciacci, and Collosorbo Tenuta di Capraia under Giovanni Ciacci’s sister Giovanna. Giovanni Ciacci’s son Andrea Ciacci. Giovanni’s daughter Francesca (her baby is Alessandro) handles winegrowing and winemaking (with Lorenzo Landi consulting).
Terroir: Tenuta di Sesta is protected to the north by a ridge due to the rippling landscape, folds created by the nearby extinct volcano Mount Amiata to the east. To the west it is open to warming sea winds. The site is open and gets full sun. With climate change this has meant a rethink in the vines, with water shoots no longer being removed around the bunches due to the potential from hydric stress. The terroir is interesting because the vines are grown at altitudes that from from 330 metres to 120-150 metres and slope down (south) towards the Orcia river, not in a simple slope but over a series of rises or folds in the land. River stones become more prevalent the closer one gets to the Orcia river. Iron-rich clay underneath. At replanting they are looking to remove lower lying vineyards and replant on higher ground.
Vineyards: The estate comprised 750ha of land under the grandfather of the current (2018) owner Giovanni Ciacci. Under Giovanni Ciacci’s father it shrank to 400ha. | 2018 Now (2018) under Giovanni Ciacci, and his children Andrea and Francesca, it comprises 200ha of land between Sant’Angelo in Colle and the abbey of Sant’Antimo. Of this, 35ha (2018) are vines, mostly Sangiovese (29ha), the rest being Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Colorino. The vine plots touch each other, and form a ‘corpo unico’ meaning they are not interplanted with vines from neighbouring estates. Other land is given to farm buildings and olive groves.
Viticulture: 1995 From 1995 new vineyards have been planted at 4,500-5,000 vines per hectare. | 1998 From 1998 the estate began propagating its own clones for replanting.
Winemaking: Hand picked. Stainless steel for fermentation. Were working with Paolo Vaggagini for winemaking. In Oct 2018 the owners told me they were now working with Lorenzo Landi, who was advising on both vineyards and winemaking.
Poggio d’Arna: A Toscana Rosso. Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Ages in Allier barriques and 15hl Slavonian botti.
Camponovo: A Toscana Rosso. 90% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino. Stainless steel. No oak. Everyday wine.
Rosso di Montalcino DOC: 2011 60,000 bottles. Well made, simple, plummy, round and satisfying (Anteprima 2013). | 2012 60,000 bottles. Nice, bright, simple sweet fruit, well made, balanced, attractive, not too much extraction (Anteprima 2014). | 2013 25,000 bottles. Bright and sweet then a bit dry at the end (Anteprima 2015). | 2014 Bright fruit with plenty of texture, a good very effort in this vintage when tasted (Anteprima 2019).
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG: 1966 Vino Rosso da Tavola. | 1967 Brunello DOC. 2000 A bit fizzy and confected (Anteprima 2005). | 2008 60,000 bottles. Nice weight, but was a bit international and shortish though and might not improve (Anteprima 2013). It showed ripe dense blackberry (atypical), with a sweet middle and a figgy dry end at DWWA 2nd May 2013. | 2009 Limpid colour, soft, very fluid tasted blind at Col d’Orcia 14 June 2014. | 2010 45,000 bottles. Light and fluid (Anteprima 2015). | 2013 14.5%.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Due Lecci Ovest: 2012 14.5%. Well put together, rich, needs time to open up, for the oak and fruit to settle, but very good intensity without being blockbuster-like tasted in Oct 2018 after a visit to the winery.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva: 1995 Bottled. | 1997 Bottled. | 1999 Bottled. | 2001 Bottled. | 2003 Bottled. | 2004 Bottled. | 2006 Bottled. | 2007 Broad cedar nose with plenty of smoky fruit, then lots of freshness on the palate with ripe, sweet fruit and not too alcoholic, silver medal at DWWA 30th April 2013. | 2009 4,000 bottles. Mid-ruby-garnet. Well made, some sweetness of Sangiovese fruit, perhaps a touch metallic (Anteprima 2014). Bit varnishy (Anteprima 2015).
Other crops: Grappa di Brunello. Olive oil from 40 hectares of olive trees. 45 hectares of sowable crops (‘seminativo’).
Visit to the estate on 16th Oct 2018.
Tenuta di Sesta
Loc. Sesta | I-53024 Castelnuovo dell’Abate (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 0577.835612 | www.tenutadisesta.it