Tenuta Castelbuono: The Lunelli Family’s Project in Montefalco

Purchased in 2001, Tenuta Castelbuono in Montefalco is the latest project of the Lunelli family, famous for its Ferrari sparkling wine.  The first vintage of Montefalco Sagrantino was released in 2003, and a new winery named “carapace” (tortoise shell) designed by Arnaldo Pomodoro was inaugurated in 2012.

The Tenuta comprises 37 ha of organically cultivated vineyards, 22 in Bevagna and 15 in Montefalco. Some of the Montefalco vines are 50+ years old. Since their purchase, the Lunellis have worked closely with the Instituto Agrario of San Michele all’Adige in Trento to identify the best historic clones on the property. New plantings are made 6250 vines to the hectare.  The Tenuta is also experimenting with winemaking, including fermenting Sagrantino in amphora. The consulting enologist is Luca di Toma from Tuscany.

The US Importer is Taub Family Selections.

The Wines

Tenute Lunelli 2019 Tenuta Castelbuono Ziggurat Montefalco Rosso 91  Medium red. Showing a brambly red cherry nose and a suave mouth feel, the Ziggurat Rosso is a fruit driven wine with good volume and richness. The brambly red fruit character carries over to the palate with herbal, earthy notes.  Drinking nicely now.  A blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino, and 15% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon matured 12 months in used oak barriques and tonneau. 14.5% alc.

Tenute Lunelli 2018 Tenuta Castelbuono Lampante Montefalco Riserva 92  Medium red with a light brickish tinge. Complex earthy bouquet with dark cherry and briar notes that are mirrored on the palate. Silky mouth feel with good focus and purity. Moderately firm tannins and a long, fresh finish. A later (than Ziggurat) harvested, special vineyard selection of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sangrantino, and 15% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon matured 18 months in barrique and botti.

Tenute Lunelli 2018 Tenuta Castelbuono Carapace Sagrantino Montefalco  Not yet bottled at the time of tasting so no score is given. Beautiful, dark red wine showing complex aromas and flavors of black raspberry, dark cherry, spice and a touch of blueberry.  Soft, silky attack and nicely concentrated with slowly mounting tannins ending in a very gripping finish.  About 10% of the wine is aged in amphora. Excellent potential. Tenute Lunelli 2016 Tenuta Castelbuono Carapace Sagrantino Montefalco 93  Dark red with scents of loam soil, spice and sandalwood. Soft on the attack and mouthfilling with firm, but refined, tannins and concentrated earthy, dark red fruited flavors. Finishes long and flavorful. 15% alc.

Tenute Lunelli 2016 Tenuta Castelbuono Sagrantino Passito Montefalco 93  Showing Port like aromas of red cherry and strawberry and a lush and very fresh, red berry palate.  Finishes almost dry due to high acidity and tannins. Dried two months prior to pressing and fermenting; matured 1 year in medium sized casks, 1 year in stainless steel tanks, and 1 year in bottle. RS 90 g/L, 13% alc. Traditionally served at Easter with lamb, but today more commonly paired with chocolate at the end of the meal.

Source : https://i-winereview.com/blog/index.php/2023/02/23/tenuta-castelbuono-the-lunelli-familys-project-in-montefalco/

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