This small estate, now with 6.5ha of vines surrounded by olive trees and natural scrub, was first established in 1910 in the only limestone rich (SE) sector of the Montalcino region, near the old abbey of Sant’Atimo. After the estate was abandoned in the 40’s it was resurrected by the new and enthusiastic owner Stella Viola di Campalto from 1992. The vines sit at an altitude of around 300 metres ASL, and the hand-tended organic vines (with 5 people working full-time in this small property) produce perfect little berries that are hand-picked and taken to the cool cellar where the wine is fermented only in large truncated cone shaped vats and handled only by gravity.
The very slow and cool ageing takes place mostly in large oak “botte” of about 1700lt size (completely topped up all the time) for around 4 years (for the Brunellos). Stella is never in a rush to release her wines. They are all bottled by hand.
With a visit to Stella’s cellar, guests can’t help but feel a palpable sense of determined perfectionism and the burning desire of Stella and the workers to best transfer the vineyard character to the glass, naturally and gently. Even though the Brunellos are far from youthful fruit bombs upon release, as they have had 6 or so years of cask and bottle ageing, they are deep, resonant, complex and they have cellar potential to burn. When you open a 2008 or 2009 now, you can expect them to evolve and change for many, many hours in the glass, and they will probably be better the next day.
“Each plot is a small cru with its own distinct character, and the wines are vinified separately in one or more wooden vats. A great deal of time and resources are dedicated to the maintenance of the ecosystem of the area around the vineyards and the company facility. We endeavor to cultivate grapes that are healthy, powerful, flavorsome and unique to each vintage. In this way, we can produce wines that are pure, unrepeatable expressions of their terroir of origin as it was in the year the grapes were grown.” – Stella di Campalto
Stella di Campalto Rosso di Montalcino 2013
“This wine is right out of Stella’s celebrated Sangiovese playbook. It shows a beautiful sense of crispness and brightness that translates to both the bouquet and the palate. Wild roses and cherries give the wine a sense of warmth and liveliness. Indeed, those delicate floral aromas are very specific to both the vintage and the house style.” – 92 Points RobertParker.com
Stella di Campalto Rosso di Montalcino 2012
“Svelte, compact, smooth, satiny, yet the building pucker of tannin lets you know that Montalcino’s primary grape variety is in your glass. Scents of sweet cloves, ripe red cherries, kirsch, lavender and fennel. The palate is medium weight, sweet-sour fruited, gently wood spiced with oak molten and meshed in fruit, exceptionally long and succulent. There’s such easy joy in the wine, that sense of moreish character, with elegance, seamlessness and fine-boned structure hand-in-hand. So delicious, so very easy to like. Class act.” – 93 Points Mike Bennie, WineFront.com.au
Stella di Campalto Brunello di Montalcino “Benedetta” 2011
“Bright pale red. The finish is bright, long and airy. It spent an unbelievable 54 months in 17 hL used oak barrels — unbelievable in the sense that this marvelous wine shows no hint of wood or of tiring fruit whatsoever.” – 92-93 Points Ian D’Agata, Vinous.com
Stella di Campalto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011
“The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a gorgeous expression with a slightly warm vein of plump cherry fruit that gives weight and volume to the overall effect. The bouquet offers dark fruit aromas with tones of blue flower, spice and balsam herb that are characteristic of Sangiovese, especially in a warm vintage like this.The wine finishes with Stella’s trademark elegance and silkiness.” – 94 Points RobertParker.com