Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lady Madonna

The Il Marroneto farm was purchased by family patriarch Giuseppe Mori in 1974.  His son Alessandro is in charge of the winemaking reins and has elevated the estate to revered levels.  Using traditional methods focusing on natural, wild yeasts, large botte of French and Slavonian oak and long macerations, Mori creates authentic Brunello. 
I recently had the pleasure of tasting an outstanding rendition of the estate's flagship Brunello; the 2007 Madonna della Grazie.
The wine is aged 41 months in large cask, finished in bottle for 10 further months and then released at 5 years of age.  Although it is not designated as such, it is essentially a Riserva bottling.  I decanted the wine for about 45 minutes prior to dinner. 
The wine is dark, blackish red. Almost impenetrable in the decanter.  In the glass, those hues persist and the aromas are tight and restrained. There's delicate flowers and some sage to go along with freshly crushed red fruits.  These aromas appear on the palate and accent the core of ripe, almost savory cherry fruit.  However, this wine is reserved. It seems unwilling, at the moment, to express itself.  The tannins are substantial and the acids are in balance with the fruit.  This wine seems atypical of the 2007 vintage which I have found open, forward and charming. This reminds me more of a structured 2004 and needs further cellar time. 

With my recent recipe of
Coniglio Brasato, the exterior of this wine softened a bit - but give thanks to Madonna, there is more lurking underneath here.  I'll revisit this wine again in 10 years time.  Bury it if you find some, and I think your patience will be rewarded.
It is hard to provide a score for a wine in this stage. Working under the presumption that I believe this wine will show very well in the future, I'll assign a range of 93-96 points and be patient.  About $75. 

~ The slumbering lady:  Madonna della Grazie ~



  1. John, great pictures and a great wine, but a great post as well!

  2. Hey John, looks good! Your description reminds me of when I had the 2007 la togata Brunello.. I had found the wine atypical given the vintage as it was more structured (in a 2006-way) still gracious and delicious, but definetely needing more cellar time.. I just checked you had the wine at gambero rosso.. Which one would you get to cellar between the two??

  3. Hey Raphael,

    I loved the Togata - as I said, it reminded me of Baricci which I also love. That being said, it was not as backward as the Madonna. I think the Togata can also age, but I don't recall it NEEDING age. So I guess if you're looking to put one down for 8-10 years, I'd choose the Marroneto. Togata? Maybe 5-8 years.


  4. Raph,

    What do you see the Togata selling for? I've never once seen that wine at retail in the US. I should check around, but have no idea what it costs or where to find it.


  5. John, Il Marroneto is one of my favourite Brunello producers. I visited Alessandro at his Madonna delle Grazie vineyard and cellar in April, a great character and very generous, we tasted barrel samples of 2012-2009 and then 2008 of both regular Brunello and MdG and then 1999 and 1998.
    I agree with you about the MdG 07 that it needs time, big tannins and structure but great elegance underneath and potential for complexity. I have 3 bottles left and will try to leave one of them til at least 2020.
    In contrast the regular Brunello 07 is quite approachable now with gorgeous fruit.