The Birth of the Estate
The history of Argiano took an about-turn while it was owned by Siena’s noble Pecci family, with the construction between 1581 and 1596 of the splendid villa, an example of 16th century aristocratic residential architecture. Thanks also to the construction of the cellar, it was during those same years that Argiano developed its winemaking vocation.
Ownership of the estate changed hands over the centuries among various noble families, until the 19th century, when it came into the possession, and under the enlightened management, of Lady Ersilia Caetani Lovatelli, who succeeded in introducing and promoting Argiano’s wines in the finest cultural circles of the time.
The great Italian poet Giosuè Carducci wrote a verse at the time saying “nella quale asprezza mi tersi col vin d’Argiano, il quale è molto buono…” (in the harshness of which I cleansed myself with Argiano wine, which really is good…).
From the 20th Century to the Present Day
Present with its Brunello at the II Mostra Mercato dei Vini Tipici d’Italia (Second Market and Exhibition of Typical Italian Wines) of 1935, as Fattoria di Argiano, the estate was awarded two valuable certificates of recognition: a winemaking attribution and also a gold medal at the Brussels Food Fair in 1932 for the production of prestigious table and dessert wines. In 1967, Argiano made the history of Brunello di Montalcino, participating with other historical wineries from the area in the foundation of the Brunello Consortium. In 1992, the assets of Argiano passed into the hands of Countess Noemi Marone Cinzano, who introduced important innovations into the winery’s management. She began working with the internationally acclaimed oenologist Giacomo Tachis, a partnership which led to the birth of the Super Tuscan Solengo; the cultivation of the Sangiovese vineyards was expanded, and the cellars were renovated and modernised. This brings us to the present day, with the change in ownership at the beginning of 2013 that resulted in the transfer to a group of Brazilian businessmen.
Today, the Argiano estate develops around the nucleus of buildings, extending across an area of about 125 hectares, occupied by vineyards, olive groves and woods. Access to the estate is via roads marked by traces of flavours and dusts that date back centuries and which intersect unique atmospheres and panoramas: the peace of the countryside, with its characteristically slow pace, wide open spaces, ever-changing seasons and alternating colours, while man carries out his daily work with the utmost respect for the environment and for the elements of the landscape.
The history of Argiano continues to be written day by day and, thanks to the energy of the new owners, is ready to open an important new chapter. The love for this land guides the estate development project, a plan conceived to further enhance the excellence of the “terroir” of Argiano and convey levels of taste and quality to the wine which have never been reached before. The challenge has already begun, carrying out extraordinary maintenance work on the 16th century cellar, redefining the ageing techniques and creating large underground bottle-ageing cellars. This renewal is going to continue in the vineyard, with expansion of the Sangiovese crops and the use of new techniques to enhance the primary aspects of the “terroir”. These are interventions that indicate an ambitious project, full of determination and enthusiasm, to bring even greater prestige to the extraordinary tradition of Argiano.
The Wines We Will Pour at the Festival
- Brunello di Montalcino – Since 1888, the finest Sangiovese grapes of the property have been used to make Brunello di Montalcino, one of the world’s most famous red wines. To make its Brunello, Argiano selects the grapes from its most noble vineyards and ages the wine in two different types of wood. The first year is spent in French oak barriques and tonneaux with different capacities, to strengthen the innate structure of the wine, while the second is spent in larger Slavonian oak barrels which allow the wine to achieve balance. After completing the maturing process in wood, the wine is transferred into concrete tanks. The combination of concentrated and mature grapes undergoing fermentation at meticulously controlled temperatures, together with careful ageing in a selection of different oak barrels, produces red wines that conserve that incredible ageing potential for which Brunello di Montalcino is famous.
Argiano’s Brunello di Montalcino is distinguished by its elegance and its deep ruby red colour. It presents a good concentration on the mid-palate and a persistent aftertaste, with a rounded and voluptuous body, and interesting, silky tannins. It unites potency and elegance and looks like having a promising future. With its tempting perfumes of red berries and its clean freshness, the complexity of this wine presents an excellent balance. To fully appreciate its qualities, decant the wine at least one hour before serving.
- Solengo IGT – ‘Solengo’, which is Tuscan for “lone wild boar”, is the product of the combination between Tuscan soil and French grape-varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Syrah. Solengo is a modern, well-balanced and full-bodied wine. It is deep, dark purple in colour with a bouquet of ripe fruit, such as blackcurrants and blackberries, with a hint of toasted oak. It is smooth on the palate, with a great concentration of excellent fruit, nicely balanced with delicate, soft tannins. The structure and complexity in the mouth are outstanding, tempered by excellent tannic extracts. This high-profile blend has evident Mediterranean characteristics and a sunny nature. Its grace and delicacy mean that it can be drunk while young, yet it also has a remarkable ageing capacity.
- NC IGT – ‘Non Confunditur’ is a Latin term that means unique, unmistakable. We christened this wine Non Confunditur as a tribute to Argiano’s prestigious and glorious past. Non Confunditur is the product of the unique combination of Tuscan and French grapes. NC is a wine with a decisive, full-bodied character, smooth tannins and a persistent finish. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese reveals an exciting potency, with the innate gentleness of Merlot creating a bridge between the evident earthiness of Sangiovese, the aromatic blackcurrant flavour of Cabernet and the warm red berries of Syrah. The result is a generous, rounded red wine, destined for short to medium ageing, with delicious aromas of currants and generous fruit flavours, versatile enough to develop in greater depth during long months in the bottle.