Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona is a grand estate of great historical and religious heritage, having been owned by the bishop of Montalcino in the seventeenth century. It is currently run by the grandchildren of Guiseppe Bianchini, then the principal winemaker at the estate, who was bequeathed the property due to the prior owner having no heirs. Located on the southeast facing slopes of the Montalcino municipality, close to Castelnuovo dell’Abate, the entire estate comprised 200 hectares of which about 55 are planted to vines. There are numerous wooded areas and 40 hectares of olive trees.
Substantial parts of the vineyard were replanted between 1986 and 1990. The full range of wines are made – a Rosso, a Brunello classico from 8 hectres plus a single vineyard designated Brunello and a Riserva called Santa Caterina d’Oro, both sourced from the “Pianrosso” vineyard, which extends to 11.7 hectares with a varied altitude of between 240 and 369 metres.
The winery describes itself as an alliance of modern and traditional by virtue of using state of the art oenoligical equipment but vinification process that are founded on old style traditional methods. Long Fermentations take place in steel vats or glass lined cement tanks and aging in larger Slavonian oak of varying sizes.
This is a beautifully crafted and polished Brunello for this vintage with full body and creamy lightly chewy tannins. Dark berries walnuts and cedar with dried-flower undertones. Needs time to soften but very pretty. Drink after 2024.
The Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2017 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso shows nice balance and elegance and it definitely shows the deft hand of the winemaking team in what was not an easy vintage by any stretch. This pretty wine delivers lots of fresh cherry and wild rose with ferrous earthy licorice and grilled herb; I also get bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Like the annata 2017 Brunello produced by this estate the single-vineyard Brunello Pianrosso is distinguished by a sweet cherry note (plus a hefty 15% alcohol) that accompanies the wine from start to finish. Production is 37000 bottles. Paolo Bianchini and his family shared the same frustrations as other top producers in the appellation regarding the hot and dry 2017 vintage. Thankfully the Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona estate is located in a rather cool location with south-facing vines and well-draining galestro soils on the back side of Castelbuovo dell'Abate. I always like to think of this tiny hilltop hamlet as the place where the day's sunbeams shine in Montalcino before sunset. This estate is certified for organic farming.
A nuanced delicate bouquet of dried strawberries roses hints of sweet spice and crushed rocks lifts up from the charming 2017 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso. This is remarkably lifted yet juicy and energetic as ripe red berries and minerals cascade across the palate. It leaves a coating of violet-tinged florals along with persistent raspberry and cherry tones. The tannin management here is absolutely stunning as the Pianrosso finishes structured yet vividly fresh.