The head of the family winery is the lovely Stella di Campalto, who has overseen the winemaking and viticulture since 1992. She has practiced certified organic farming here since 1996 and in 2002 began practicing biodynamic farming as well – becoming certified in 2005. The estate lies at the very southeast corner of the Montalcino zone, outside of Castelnuovo dell’Abate.
The vineyards are lovingly nurtured to produce the finest most natural fruit possible, and then the cellar regimen at Stella di Campalto is designed to treat the wines as gently as possible to retain the individual vintage characteristics of the wines. In this regard none of the modern cellar parlor tricks such as cultured yeasts or extraction enzymes are used during the vinification. Also, there is no pumping of the wines in the cellars, as everything is handled by gravity in the three stories of cold cellars under the property, with the wines aged in a combination of barriques and larger botti for anywhere from eighteen to twenty-two months prior to bottling. The bottling is all done by hand, and then the wines are aged for additional time in the bottle before release. Stella feels that her wines need more time in the bottle before showing optimally and is now releasing her Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino nearly one full year after most other estates.
The truly seductive 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Piccoli Contenitori is sweetly herbal, with earth tones, black cherries and crushed stone complemented by rosy florals. Swirling unlocks an intense wave of raspberry, cedar shavings and spice. It’s silky and pliant, but with a tannic structure that comes on fast, but doesn’t get in the way of its pure wild berry fruits, as zesty acidity keeps the energy high throughout. This is vivid to the last, as saturating minerality adds a savory flair, and lavender-tinged red berries echo on and on through the classically structured and youthfully chewy finale. Just wow. [97 Points, Eric Guido – October 2022, vinous.com]