Mutiliana 'Ibbola' Sangiovese Romagna Modigliana 2019
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Press 2 • August 2023 Direct Press Selection
Sangiovese is so identified with Tuscany it would be forgivable to overlook the Sangiovese being grown over the border in Romagna, where it has nearly as long of a history, if not longer. Yet only recently have more growers been taking advantage of the region's potential. High up in the Apennines on clay and marl soils, the subzone of Modigliana is an exceptional place for Sangiovese, where it can ripen slowly and benefit from the extra acidity it gets from the elevation. Giorgio Melandri is a wine journalist who has been slowly transitioning to full-time cellar master and grower, but his instincts and training are already of a very high level and he has an acute eye for detail. Apparently he waits to press his wines until he can taste the sensation of the exact flowers and herbs that he noted growing in the vineyards during the summer.
Ibbola comes from his steepest, highest-elevation plot, in a dramatic, narrow valley exposed to the elements and surrounded by forest at nearly 2000 feet. It's a nervy and spicy wine with sagey, brooding layers of serious, detailed tannins. There is a lot of energy and tension that comes from the interplay of opulent power, rustic irreverence, and a fine-tuned razor's edge of snappy acidity. Fermented in steel and aged in concrete. Only 200 cases produced. Drink now or age for 8-10 years. Jonathan Kemp