Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2006

WE96, WS94

Artist Sandro Chia and his team have delivered a lush, modern, approachable and opulent riserva with aromas of spice, ripe fruit, chocolate fudge and red cherry. This is a round and supple wine, with a soft, generous mouthfeel backed by firm structure and bright acidity. - WE96

A lush style, boasting cherry, plum, tobacco and spice aromas and flavors, all backed by searing acidity and assertive, if refined, tannins. Starts out in a more modern style, finishing with grip and elegance. Best from 2015 through 2032. - WS94

The Winery

Castello Romitorio is an Italian wine estate situated in Montalcino. The estate is particularly renowned for its Brunello di Montalcino wines produced from the Sangiovese grape variety.

The estatet was purchased by the artist Sandro Chia in 1984. It is now run by his son Filippo.


Sandro Chia established the first Sangiovese vines on the estate between 1984 and 1993. These now account for about 50 percent of planted area. 

In 2006 Sandro's son Filippo began to not only construct a new winery, but also plant new plots, using carefully selected strains of Sangiovese based on the older sites. Today the vineyards reach from the top of the Romitorio hill at 450 meters altitude (1476ft) down to 200 meters (656ft).

There are now 40ha of vineyards across a wider estate of 178ha (440 acres). Around 16ha are planted to Sangiovese, with 24ha to international varieties (see below).

The transition process to certified organic status began officially in March 2020. It was due to be completed in March 2023.

Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino wines

There are a number of cuvées in the portfolio. A mix of French and Slavonian oak is used in all cases.

  • Brunello di Montalcino: the core release; about 24 months in oak.
  • Filo de Seta: a single vineyard wine, sourced from fruit grown on cooler northwest-facing slopes. About 30 months ageing in oak.
  • Riserva: only produced in the best vintages, from the older estate vineyards. About 36 months ageing in oak.
  • Filo de Seta Reserva: extended aging of the best barrels of Filo de Seta. About 36 months in oak and five years three months total ageing.  Debut with the 2016 vintage of which just 3940 bottles were produced; only to be made in exceptional years.
  • Rossi di Montalcino Colto: With the 2020 vintage this new Rosso di Montalcino wine was introduced, after a period of reorganization in the vineyards. The fruit is sourced from younger vines, and the wine is aged for six months in oak, 6 months in cement and 6 months in bottle. (This is a different wine to a Castello di Romotorio Rosso di Montalcino last made in 2019, please ensure your wine merchant has the wine you are seeking.) 

Toscana IGT wines

The range is complemented by a quartet of Toscana IGT red wines and one white:

  • Romito: now a single vineyard 100 percent Petit Verdot from a vineyard in the Maremma, aged for 14 months in French oak with 50 percent new wood. NB from 1987 to 2018 this was a blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • "R" (Romitòro): an unusual blend of Petit Verdot, Syrah and Sangiovese. First made with the 2008 vintage, and previously named Toro (the label features a bull) and then RomiToro.
  • Brio: made from younger vines on the estate; fresh and fruity for earlier consumption.
  • Syrah: single variety wine
  • Metafisica Toscana Bianco: a 50:50 blend of Chardonnay and Trebbiano Procanico (aka Trebbiano Toscano) since the 2021 release. Previosly 100 percent Chardonnay. The estate's plantings of the latter date back to the 1980s; this blend marks the recent acquisition of one of the oldest vineyards of Trebbiano Procanico in Scansano.

The castello

The massive main building dates back to the 14th century. The foundations are probably Roman; according to the producer the site was possibly a prison for deserted Roman soldiers. It is strategically placed near three navigable rivers and transport routes between the coast and central Italy.

It was configured as a manor house or villa in the 19th century. However it was uninhabited for many years after World War Two and used as a shelter for shepherds and sheep. It had been partially renovated when the current owners bought in in 1984. The house now showcases the artworks of Sandro Chia.

Tenuta di Ghiaccio Forte in Scansano

In 1999 a second estate, Tenuta di Ghiaccio Forte, was purchased in Scansano on the Maremma coast of Tuscany. Today Sandro's son Filippo Chia operates both wineries. A Morellino di Scansano was previously made under the Castello di Romitorio banner. Now focus on this DOCG is placed solely on the examples from Ghiaccio Forte. - Information from Wine Searcher



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