Poggio Antico is in the Tuscan appellation of Montalcino. The estate dates to the 19th century, but in 1984 it was purchased by a couple from Milan and today it is run by their daughter, Paola Gloder Montefiori and her husband Alberto Montefiori. About 80 acres of the 500-acre estate are vineyards, and at 1,476 feet above sea level, Poggio Antico is one of the highest altitude producers of Brunello. Most of the vineyards are planted to Sangiovese with a few acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, used to make the estate’s super Tuscan blend called Madre. The estate’s signature wines are its Brunello di Montalcinos, which have regularly earned Gambero Rosso’s top award of 3 Bicchieri. Wine Advocate has awarded the estate’s wines scores in the mid-90s, and notes that “Poggio Antico is one of Montalcino’s most consistent producers. The wines are made in a rich, fruit-driven style.”
Brunello di Montalcino is regarded as one of Italy’s best appellations. Located in south central Tuscany below Chianti, the wines of Brunello di Montalcino DOCG are made of a Sangiovese clone called “brunello,” which means “little dark one,” a reference to the brown tones in the skin of the grape. Unlike some Tuscan appellations that allow other grapes to be blended with Sangiovese, Brunello di Montalcino is entirely Sangiovese. Montalcino itself is a picturesque, hill-top town not especially well known for wine production until the mid-19th century, when a local vineyard owner isolated the brunello clone and planted it. Other growers followed suit. Nevertheless it wasn’t until 1970s that wine enthusiasts started paying attention to Brunello di Montalcino, which by then was becoming an outstanding wine. Today there are 120 estates in the DOCG, up from about 25 estates in 1975. Brunellos in general are bigger, darker, more tannic and more powerful wines than Chiantis or most other Sangioveses. By law they must be aged for four years, and two of those years must be in wooden barrels.