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Azienda Agricola Casa Raia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2009

Wine Type: Large_icon Large_icon Videoblog
Style of Wine:Big & Bold
Country of Origin:Italy
Wine Region:Tuscany
Appellation:Montalcino
Grape Varietal:Sangiovese
Bottle Format:750mL
Case Size:6 bottles
$543.60 Per Case ($90.60/btl)


Out Of Stock, Expected: Feb, 2015

Tasting Notes

Bound by a philosophy that is respectful of the land, Azienda Agricola Casa Raia adheres strictly to the principles of organic production. This is a 100% "natural wine".

Casa Raia sits on a promontory beneath the famed medieval town of Montalcino. The estate once belonged to the patriarchal family of Biond Santi. This soil saw the first roots of the Sangiovese vine labouring through inhospitable rock over a century ago. In 1997 the then abandoned farm house was lovingly restored and named Casa Raia after the matriarch of the new family, Raissa Temertey.

Vintners Pierre Jean Monnoyer and his wife Kalyna have restored the vineyards with unyielding respect for the land that so generously nurtures us. Espousing a philosophy that is best described as "the vine determines the wine" they are producing natural wines that are an expression of their deep commitment to the uncompromising production of authentic, quality wines. Their first vintage was 2006.

The vineyards are rich in rock fragments with the active layer formed by the erosion of the local rocks, particularly marl and dendrite. The climate, though typically Mediterranean, is affected by the different orientations of the slopes and modulation of the surrounding hills. Perched on its own promontory the Casa Raia estate is not affected by late mists or frosts which can take place in the valleys, and during the entire vegetative phase of the vine the weather is mainly hot with mostly sunny days, ensuring a gradual and complete ripening of the clusters.

In the vineyard, the goal is to maintain the biodiversity and natural balance of the 30 year old vineyards. In the fall the soil is worked gently and seeded with a variety of organic plants and flowers providing natural nutrients to the soil. No pesticides or herbicides are used on the entire estate.

The vines are pruned following the cycles of the moon, pruning continuously for fourteen days as the moon is on its descending path. The pruning method of the vines is the cordon spur, 4 spurs per trunk, and double cordon, 6 spurs per trunk, obtained by short pruning (2 buds). Cultivation and harvest is by hand, taking care not to damage grapes before they get to the cellar. Each bunch is carefully inspected and cleaned before it enters the winery.

A destemmer is used as opposed to a crusher, which results in the grapes gently falling by gravity into a 30hl French-oak barrel. The juices soak for a few days before natural fermentation begins...extracting colour, flavour and tannins from the skins. Once fermentation begins -- using only naturally occurring yeast -- the cap is monitored daily and kept wet by a process of three remontage and delestage a day. The wine is basket pressed offering a longer pathway for the juice to travel through the compact pomace cake which serves as a filter for solids that can otherwise affect the quality of the wine.

The wine is then transferred to aged French oak barrels (Taransaud) in an underground cantina where the exchange of humidity is achieved through floor openings under the barrels. The following spring the wines undergo natural malolactic fermentation, decreasing the acidity in the wine. As natural evaporation occurs the barrels are topped up and the aging process is monitored diligently. The barrels are not disturbed for another 4 years allowing a natural settling to occur without filtration. Blends from the different barrels are assembled according to our own specifications and then bottled on the premises. Alcohol by volume: 15.3%

Casa Raia uses the highest quality French-oak wood from Taransaud. The trees, sustainably managed by the government, are cut down when they are about 150 years plus.

Cork, the noble oak's bark is naturally biodegradable thus it is destined to be the irreplaceable partner of wine. Casa Raia uses natural cork, from Bourrassé, a French company that is dedicated to sustainability and respect for the environment.

Approximately 1000 bottles were made in this vintage.

Our tasting note: Medium ruby colour, with complex aromas and flavours of dark fruits -- plum and black-currant -- and earthy notes of dark chocolate, and sandalwood. Full-bodied and rich with an elegant finish. Decant for full effect and this wine will benefit from ageing for 10+ years.


Critical Praise

93 points from Tim Atkin (UK-based Master of Wine)


As featured on WineWire TV

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Episode #125 - Wines with "Natural" Beauty

Jan 27, 2014

In this episode of WineWire TV, Nelson sits down with Pierre Jean Monnoyer owner and winemaker of Azienda Agricola Ca...

View Video

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Episode #20 - Great Wines Make Great Gifts

Dec 6, 2012

In this episode of WineWire TV, Adam and Nelson introduce you to two exceptional and unique wines that make great gif...

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