Region: Montalcino, Tuscany
Giuseppe Sesti is no ordinary winegrower. His background is astronomy and music rather than wine, but that didn’t stop him taking on the role of winemaker in chief at the 13th century Castello di Argiano, which he acquired in the 1970s. The moderate microclimate in this southern part of Tuscany helps to create juicy Montalcino wines with rich, dense complexity, while the altitude (350m) helps to maintain its archetypal sour cherry acidity. Quartz mixed with sand and light clay gives the wines an energizing mineral purity. The Sesti wine style is very perfumed with soft, sweet fruit and velvety, seductive tannins.
It is not surprising – given Giuseppe’s knowledge of astronomy and astrology – that his winemaking processes follow the lunar cycle. Production is strictly traditional with long maceration and lengthy ageing in botti; up to 60 months for the Sesti Brunello Riserva, around 40 months for the Sesti Brunello and 18 for the Sesti Rosso, followed in all instances by 12 months in bottle.
Top of the range is Sesti Phenomena, whose labels refer to the spectacular astronomical happenings during the year of production. The mainstay of the estate is the Sesti Brunello – a wine that looks and tastes beautifully mature from the moment of release, displaying considerable, expansive depth and perfume. The Rosso is in the same vein, less concentrated but soft and highly drinkable, while Monteleccio is made from the winemaker’s selection of 100% Sangiovese grapes, aged in medium size oak barrels for 12 months. This is a youthful, elegant expression of the estate – juicy, immediately accessible and delicious.
Expertly assisted by his daughter, Elisa, Sesti’s wines are now widely acknowledged to be some of the finest that Montalcino has to offer.
• 5,400 vines per hectare
• Yield: 8 metric tons per hectare
• Thirty-nine months of élevage in 30-hectoliter oak botti
• Unfiltered and unfined
• One year of bottle aging before release