We arrived at the cellar door tasting room of Tenuta Montauto in the Maremma di Toscana DOC north of Rome after 26 hours of travelling and little sleep.
Bleary eyed and compressed, I perked up considerably when we decided to see if a spur-of-the-moment tasting was possible at Tenuta Montauto enroute to our agriturismo at Saturnia.
Arianna graciously invited us in and provided an attentive and generous tasting. The property was busy that day as harvest had started for some of the white grapes. It was an epic tasting of seven wines, and a beautiful Vermouth.
The Vermouth is made from a Vermentino base, and infused for 30 days with gentian, chamomile, cardamom, coriander, mint, lemon balm, and eucalyptus. The result after a month of infusion is a deep and delicious array of aromas and flavours. I fell in love.
One of the most enjoyable of the many wines produced at this petite family owned 80,000 bottle/year winery (about 6,500 cases only) was the Silio.
Silio is the name of one of the family’s grandfathers, and is made from the Ciliegiolo grape (meaning ‘cherry’ in Italian, because the grape resembles a cherry). The heritage of Ciliegiolo is controversial – it’s either a parent to, or the offspring of, Sangiovese. Whatever the case, it certainly produces some lovely, quaffable wine.
Translucent ruby red and medium-bodied, the Silio offers a fabulous nose and flavours of bright, sour cherry, violets and roses. Only lightly tannic, it lends itself to grilled chicken and mussles, or could be pressed into service to complement a skirt steak and roasted vegetables.
There was no shortage of extremely drinkable and enjoyable wines at Montauto – including the Bianco di Pitigliano, a blend of mostly Trebbiano with Grechetto and Chardonnay (70/25/5), and a deliciously saline Vermentino with white flowers, pear and white peach blossom.
Tenuta Montauto makes an excellent stop outside of Rome for those staying in, or passing through, the Maremma.