2009 Tenuta di Montecucco – Passonaia – Montecucco DOC

Montecucco – Another Tuscan Appellation

In the heart of Tuscany lies the city of Cinigano but the area is better known as Montecucco DOC – another Sangiovese-based Tuscan appellation. Tenuta di Montecucco cultivates over 700 hectares (1730 acres) of land. Next to wine the winery also produces olive oil and grappa. Furthermore, Tenuta di Montecucco is an Agriturismo (agritourism) with 10 rooms. If you like wine-holidays then make sure to stop by there on your next trip to Tuscany. Rigomoro is the flagship wine from Tenuta di Montecucco

Take a look at these pictures to get an impression of the beautiful scenery of the “Strada del Vino di Montecucco”.

Tuscany is simply stunning isn’t it?

Let’s get back to the winery. Recently, I tried the Passonaia (2009 vintage) from Tenuta di Montecucco. It is a blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Cannaiolo. If you guessed that the wine aged in stainless steel or in oak then you are wrong. Passonaia aged in cement. I do not remember a wine that aged in cement. Have you tried something similar? Tenuta di Montecucco produced 60.000 bottles of Passonaia. The wine is produced from certified organic grapes.

Tasting notes Passonaia

2009 Tenuta di Montecucco - Passonaia - Montecucco DOCIn the glass, the wine had an intense ruby red color. The bouquet was fruit-forward with heavy aromas of blackberry, bilberry, blueberry and raspberry. Alcohol by volume was label listed at 14%.

On the palate, Passonaia was dry with mellow, pleasing tannins. I tasted red fruits and spices. Quite well-balanced. The wine was medium-bodied with a persistently long finish.

The wine retails for around 14€. Excellent price-quality ratio. Will certainly buy this wine again.

4 / 5 stars      

More on Montecucco DOC

The appellation Montecucco DOC is a fairly new. It was approved in 1998. The appellation can be used for red, white and pink wine as well as for Vin Santo. Montecucco Rosso and Montecucco Rosato require at least 60% Sangiovese whereas Montecucco Bianco requires at least 85% Vermentino grapes.

It can be quite confusing to distinguish all these Tuscan appellations but who blames you? There are 39 DOC and 11 DOCG appellations in Tuscany. Only the Piedmont has more.

So next time you plan to buy a Brunello di Montalcino try to remember that there are many other less-known and much more affordable wines in Tuscany. You could go for a Montecucco, a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or a Morellino di Scansano.  If you do then you will see that you do not have to rob the bank to buy outstanding Tuscan wines – Passonaia from Tenuta di Montecucco is the perfect example for that. Let me know what your favorite Tuscan red wine is. Is it something less-known? Maybe a hidden-secret? Or are you more into Brunello di Montalcino or into Super Tuscans?


25 comments on “2009 Tenuta di Montecucco – Passonaia – Montecucco DOC”

  1. winetalks winetalks Reply

    I don’t think that I’ve had a Montecucco before. Usually I go with Brunello. Often Brunello and Super Tuscans like Sassicaia are the only Tuscan wines available in the US. It sucks. I would love to try a Montecucco or some wine from the other Tuscan appellations.
    Great tasting notes 🙂

  2. hannah-theis hannah-theis Reply

    Oh Julian I wish I would live in Italy and not in Canada. I love the food, the wine and the nature and of course Italian is such a pretty language (even though I don’t speak it). When it comes to wine from Tuscany then I can’t resist a goo Vino Nobile. But I’m looking forward to try some of these other wines : -) Is there a list somewhere that includes all DOC and DOCG wines from Tuscany?

    • vino in love Reply

      You are so right. Italy is such a beautiful country. I enjoyed my time living there a lot. Maybe someday you’ll visit Italy for more than just a vacation 🙂
      And regarding your question, yes there is a list of all DOC and DOCG wines. It is in Italian though. You can download the list from the Italian Ministry of Agriculture.

  3. wineking3 wineking3 Reply

    Very interesting post, Julian! I didn’t know that Tuscany had that many different wine classifications. That’s insane!
    The Passonaia sounds lovely. Have never heard of a wine that aged in cement either. Will look into this. The scenery around Montecucco (is it a city?) looks so beautiful! Only been to Montalcino and Montepulciano. Quite lovely there as well.

    • vino in love Reply

      Thanks for commenting. Sometimes I have the feeling that Tuscany, Apulia and the Piedmont have too many appellations. It’s almost like every village has it’s own DOC.
      Unlike Montalcino or Montepulciano, Montecucco is not a town. It’s just an appellation. The pictures are from the “Strada del Vino di Montecucco” (wine route of Montecucco).

  4. drinkforlife Reply

    Really like the label. Looks so traditional 🙂
    Nice tasting notes. And for just €14 that seems to be a fantastic wine. Might see if I can find it on wine searcher or so. Would love to try it. Have you had other wines from Tenuta di Montecucco, too?

    • vino in love Reply

      This was my first wine from Tenuta di Montecucco but I’ve tried wines from that appellation produced by other wineries. What about you?

  5. RiojaChianti RiojaChianti Reply

    Interesting question. I think Chianti classico offers the best value out of all the Tuscan wines. And a Chianti classico from Siena will taste differently than a Chianti Classico from Florence so for me Chianti classico is Tuscany’s #1 🙂
    To be honest I haven’t tasted a Montecucco yet. Hope to do so soon though! Didn’t know that there was this appellation. I haven’t seen any wine classified Montecucco over here..

  6. thebestdressup Reply

    ciao! as the selection is vast, you are right, no need to rob the bank to enjoy a wonderful tuscan wine. it is too bad that most of the wonderful selections are not available in the usa. one more reason to go to italy…some of my favourite tuscan wines: sangiovese is fontodi -flaccianello della pieve, chianti riserva is querciabella, brunello di montalcino is valdicava-madonna del piano, super tuscan is tolaini-picconero tenuta di montebello, and tenuta del’ornellaia-ornellaia. it’s all about the moment, the food that will accompany the wine and the mood.

    • vino in love Reply

      Thanks for stopping by!
      I’m glad you agree with me that Tuscan wine does not have to be super expensive 🙂 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia produces outstanding Super Tuscans. Sometimes hard to find though. I’m not familiar with the Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve but I’ll make sure to try it at VinItaly (very large wine fair in Verona).

    • vino in love Reply

      Thank you so much! Judging from what other readers said I would assume though that it might be difficult to find some of these wines in the USA – especially at PLCB 😉

  7. armchairsommelier Reply

    Beautiful photos! I love the notion of less-known, but more affordable wines from Tuscany. And I want to pick up a bottle of this wine just because it was aged in cement! Salud!

    • theducksong Reply

      i agree with armchairsommelier. these are beautiful photos! I have to contact my local wine merchant and ask him about this wine. sounds like a good wine.
      great review, julian 🙂 keep it up!

      • vino in love Reply

        Thank you so much!
        I hope you get a chance to try the Passonaia. If you don’t find it then take a look at other less-known Tuscan wines like Morellino di Scansano DOCG, Capalbio DOC, Sant’Antimo DOC or Val di Cornia DOC.

  8. the winegetter Reply

    Great post, Julian! Cement, very interesting. Didn’t the Romans use some sort of concrete/plaster bassins to ferment their wines? Not sure…

    • vino in love Reply

      After writing the post I did a little research and what you are saying is completely true. Cement and concrete eggs were used long before stainless steel tanks. I red that cement gives wine soft spicy notes that are similar to the ones that come from oak (just less intense).
      In the last few years, a few small wineries decided to make wine “the old way” and restarted using cement eggs for the fermentation and aging process.

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