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.
Stella di Campalto’s NV Choltempo Fiorello explodes from the glass with a sweet, exotic and truly seductive mix of spicy black cherry, complemented by notes of cinnamon, clove and sweet mint leaf. Soft, lifted, unexpectedly feminine textures usher in wonderfully pure red fruits, with vibrant acids and sweet minerality creating a juicy, mouthwatering expression. The finish is medium in length, understated but also
very pretty and floral, with just a hint of sweet herbal tea. This kitchen-sink blend of Sangiovese (from the 2016 vintage), Tannat, Arinarnoha, Marcelan and Lagrein (various vintages) comes from a small vineyard that is more like a garden to Stella di Campalto and worth seeking out as a unique expression from this passionate producer.