Mutiliana Ibbola Romagna Sangiovese Modigliana
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Region: Modigliana, Romana, Italy
Grape varieties: 100% Sangiovese
Mutiliana Ibbola Romagna Sangiovese Modigliana is smooth and luxurious with ripe liqueur-like cherry and berry fruits, and a nice texture.
Song: Slow Moves by José Gonzalez
Out of stock
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About Mutiliana Ibbola Romagna Sangiovese Modigliana
Mutiliana Ibbola Romagna Sangiovese Modigliana is smooth and luxurious with ripe liqueur-like cherry and berry fruits, some nice texture, and astonishing purity and drinkability. There’s some structure under the fruit, for sure, but it’s just so lovely to have such smoothness, purity, and fruit in a Sangiovese.
Modigliana [Mo-DILL-ee-anna] is a relatively undiscovered high altitude sub-zone for Sangiovese, comparable to Radda or Lamole in Chianti, and the winery Mutiliana, tucked in the rustic Apennines mountains of Romagna, is quickly becoming a reference point producer. Multiliana’s vineyards lie in the eastern part of the Emilia-Romagna region. If the western Emilia brings to mind lasagna, aceto balsamico, Parmigiano, Ferrari, and jewel-like small cities like Modena, this mountain part of Romagna is way more low-key and less luxurious. A popular local dish is the unleavened simple flatbread sandwich called piadina; the tortelli here is stuffed with potatoes, not prosciutto. And yet. rustic mountain fare aside, the Sangiovese here is extremely elegant, due to the high altitude, and marl and sandstone soils. And, in a nod back to wealthy Emilia from rustic Romagna, you’ll find Multiliana’s Sangiovese on the tasting menu in one of the world’s best restaurants in Modena.
Mutiliana [moo-TIL-ee-anna] is owned by local resident Giorgio Melandri, who is transitioning from a career as a wine journalist to grower and cellar master. His aim has been to search for old vineyards of high altitude Sangiovese grown on marl and sandstone soils, choosing to buy and long-term lease them one by one as he finds them.
Giorgio is meticulous and hands-on: he watches over the grapes basking in the cool sun* all summer into the fall, he then leaves the fermentation to go as long as possible, tasting the wines from tank each morning for up to a month. He doesn’t press until all the flowers and herbs he saw in the summer come back into focus in his tasting glass.
He first discovered, sniffed if we want to be precise, the uniqueness of the terroir hereafter wading through hundreds of glasses of Sangiovese Romagna as a journalist. Year after year, Modigilana’s vineyards would surface as a wine that spoke to him: herbal, acid-driven, mineral. Giorgio currently bottles a Sangiovese within each valley of the Modigliana sub-zone: Acereta, Ibbola, and Tramazo. He cheekily labels the wine with some missing letters: Acer[r]eta, Ib[b]ola, and Tramaz[z]o. All the wines have amaro-like botanical notes (dried sage, eucalyptus, cedar) intermixed with acid-driven fruits (sour cherry, blood orange, and pomegranate). This is terroir-driven Sangiovese that few are familiar with. Yes, these are heady wines, yet they also haven’t lost their mountain-grown spirit.
Even high-altitude Sangiovese from Chianti is different than these wines. The climate is colder; the acidity is more pushed. Sangiovese’s tannins have no problem slowly ripening here**, making them less forceful and rustic than you often find in a Sangiovese Chianti.
Everyone will have to taste these wines, vintage by vintage, valley by valley, to suss out the differences now and with age. But, we can give a general word about each of the bottling: Acereta, Ibbola, and Tramazo:
Acereta: two vineyards totaling around 2 hectares; one in Castelluccio and one near a monastery in Modigliana. Acereta is a little lower in elevation than the other valleys, and the valley itself opens in like with sea breezes. the lowest in elevation of the three valleys, with open exposure to the plain below. The soils here are loose marl and predominant sandstone mix. A tangy expression of Sangiovese, with lots of taut sour fruits, e.g. blood-orange, and pomegranate. Historically, Sangiovese here has been linked to the old Ronchi [hill tops] of Castelluccio: long-aging wines of character that were crystalline and pure.
Tramazo: a single vineyard of around 2 hectares. Tramazo is the central valley of Modigliana: it opens towards higher ground and continues as far as Tredozio. The soils here are a mix of marl and sandstone and contain a small percentage of red and ochre clays. The vineyard is located + 500m altitude, allowing a cooler ripening and toned elegant Sangiovese profile. Usually highly herbal, with distinct amaro-like botanical notes.
Ibbola: two vineyards in Modigliana totaling 4 hectares; both are owned by Villa Papiano. Francesco Bordini (winemaker and agronomist at Villa Papiano) is Giorgio Melandri’s partner for Mutiliana. Ibbola is the highest valley with the most extreme topography– very narrow, acutely angled, steep valley walls. Here the sandstone is very pure with little marl. The vines grow at 600m and are surrounded by woods that play a role in the quality of the grapes. Grapes mature later here than at the other sites; harvested in late October. Cool fruited, super minerally; minimalist. As a side note, Giorgio makes a unique Pinot Noir from this vineyard, with an alluring cinnabar color and lithesome acidity.