Monticelli Brothers
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Our Wine

We feel so lucky to live and work in a place as wonderful as the Napa Valley, where the beautiful hills and weather are great for getting out, enjoying life, and especially making great wines! We strive to create well-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon, which expresses the classic Napa Valley Cabernet traits. Our Cabernet is powerful and fruity, with concentrated flavor and dark vibrant color that is neither overly tannic nor oaked. We are proud that our Massimo Cabernet tastes great when released, and continues to improve with age.

In the tradition of our Tuscan heritage, we set out to make a Sangiovese that would have made our Nonno proud. Our Mario Sangiovese is bright and fruity, like an Italian Chianti should be. As is with most Italian varietals, Sangiovese's delicate flavor makes it a wonderful accompaniment to food, especially pizzas and pastas.

We’ve bent the rules a little, and have created a wine with incredible complexity and rich flavor. Inspired by our great-uncle, our Rolando Rosso is made with a Cabernet base enhanced with Syrah and Merlot. Every year half of the blend is bottled, and the other half becomes the base blend for the next bottling. This technique produces a consistent wine with fruitiness from the young wine and a smooth aged taste from the old. The Rolando is designed to drink now.

Our newest release is our Lito Vin Santo, made with patience and adherence to old traditional Tuscan methods passed down through our family. The secret to its expansive richness lays in the fact that it is not made with fresh fruit but with partially dehydrated grapes. After harvesting, the bunches are laid on straw mats or hung in airy attics, thus the berries shrivel slowly, concentrating flavors and sugars. Never are they allowed to dry in direct sunlight, as to avoid a burnt or cooked character. These grapes are sent direct to press where precious small amounts of juice are extracted. The juice is then settled until it is completely clear.

Fermentation and aging take place in small 5 to 8 gallon oak barrels, which have been tightly sealed by covering each bung with melted wax and are never opened until the aging is completed. A high percentage of the wine is lost to evaporation in the process, further concentrating the Vin Santo. After aging for 3 to 5 years, the clear wine is carefully siphoned from the barrels and bottled as Vin Santo, or “Holy Wine”.

The wine remaining in the barrel contains the mother yeast (or “la madre”) and is never removed, adding another layer of complexity and richness. The barrels with the la madre are refilled with new juice each year. The la madre for our Vin Santo has been in use since our Nonno, Lito, brought it over from Tuscany in the 1950's.

In our 2003 Vin Santo, the majority of the grapes are Muscat Canelli, Malvasia Bianca, followed by Sangiovese, Aleatico and very small amounts of Brachetto, Semillon and Trousseau. In our Vin Santo enjoy classic aromas of toasted almonds, dried apricots, and white peaches followed by silky honey characteristics with a long spicy finish.