Badia a Coltibuono

Italy / tuscany

Producer Info

press recognition:

Located in Gaiole in Chianti, Badia a Coltibuono’s history dates back to 1051, to the Vallombrosan order of monks, whose fine abbey (‘Badia’ ) still stands proud at the heart of the wine property; ‘Coltibuono’ means ‘good crop’ by the way. Current owners, the Stucchi Prinetti family have only been in residence since its purchase in1846 by great great grandfather and Florentine banker Michele Giuntini, cousin of the Selvapiana family of Rufina.

The present generation, siblings Emanuela, Roberto, Paolo & Guido, now run the show, bringing this most traditional of wine estates up to date. At 74ha it’s no garage operation, but it is fortunate in owning a significant slice of subzone/sottozona Monti in Chianti, whose excellent terroir is much prized.

Another asset is their stock of ancient Sangiovese clones, which they have used to replant key sites at higher densities of 7-8,000 Sangiovese plants per hectare; as opposed to the ultra traditional pattern of low densities of red and white grapes.

In 1996 they built a new winery in Monti, and with the 2003 harvest their fruit was certified ICEA organic. Roberto Stucchi Prinetti remarks that since going organic they’ve noticed that the fermentations have been easier to follow. He adds that though they’ve sacrificed journalist ‘Points’ they’re more than happy with the pale elegance of their wines. They also produce a Chianti Classico Riserva.

> Certified organic (olive trees since 2004, vines since 2003)


Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico Riserva

‘Cultus Boni’ Chianti Classico Riserva

‘Sangioveto’ di Toscana IGT

‘Montebello’ di Toscana IGT

Vin Santo del Chianti Classico

Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice

Tasting Notes

2016 Chianti Classico – tasted Nov’18 from bottle, a similar blend to that of the 2015 vintage, including the Castelnuovo Berargenga plot that was replanted in 1988. But yields in 2016 were concentrated by 50% due to hail. Impressive complexity of red & black berried fruit aromatics; relaxed, focused strawberry, Pinot-esque…

2015 Chianti Classico – c.140k bts, 13.5%, 90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo, Colorino, Ciliegiolo, 66% from their Monti-in-Chianti/Gaiole & 33% from Castelnuovo Berardenga vineyards, (from the tank) presence, peach skin, transparent & intriguing nose, s/s + 1 yr in botte grande (french/slavonian); the palate’s more giving, fleshier, more stoffa, & structure too, with refreshing grounded minerality. The Castelnuovo fruit gives a juiciness & facility; thos of Monti the spine!

2015 Chianti Classico Riserva – tasted Nov’18 from bottle, as ever, 100% from their prime Monti-in-Chianti vineyards replanted between 1988 & 2000, employing the traditional blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, & Ciliegiolo, Badia’s Riserva catches the spirit & joy of vintage 2015 perfectly: to the eye, a bright, pinky red, the nose so fine with pretty rose petal & fresh strawberry notes; such balance & ease, already delicious, masses of little red fruit, yet with reserve!

2013 Chianti Classico Riserva – tasted Jan’18, 14%, Badia’s Riserva continue’s to be made from their top Monti-in-Chianti vineyards (in the comune of Gaiole), here in 2013 showing delicate tea-leaf, rose-hip, wild strawberry notes with a classic 2013 vibe & tension. Fragrant, scintillating, an essential spine, & sapidity that calls out for seafish…indeed, it’s got a quasi (Santa Maria Valley) Pinot feel to it! Exciting. Worth noting that the Stucchi Prinetti family chose not to make a 2014 Riserva (or Sangioveto & Montebello)!

2012 Chianti Classico Riserva – 13.5%, 30 mths in botte grande, 100% Monti-in-Chianti fruit, bottled July ’16, ‘cupo’ a darker garnet red – the colour of 2012! – the nose is forest floor/sotto bosco, sense of warmth, of thick skins, blackberries & panna/cream, loganberry too, generous, slightly lower acidity, round tannins & brambly finish. Yum!

2009 Chianti Classico Riserva – tasted Nov’18, only 1500 bts re-released by the cantina as part of their tenth anniversary programme: so bright & alive with a ‘occhio di pernice/oeil de perdrix’ red intensity, so fluid, with tell-tale tea-leaves & warm strawberry, spice, fresh leather, tight, kirsch, cool poise. Delizioso now but no hurry.

2008 Chianti Classico Riserva – tasted Jan’18, 14.5%, 100% Monti-in-Chianti fruit, from a complicated annata – freddo/caldo/grandine – giving a complex wine! Indeed, having tasted the sunny 2007s, gnarled 2006s, the 2008 would seem to encompass both! Crunchy, defined, brambly/frutta di bosco, refreshingly Classico but enticing too with some broad, tamarind, spezia fruit, ‘sacrestia’/incense. Roberto Stucchi Prinetti recalls it as being a tricky child, but it’s grown up into a wine of great beauty. Gorgeous black tartufo, a glint of tight cassis, texture, kirsch cranberry, & refinement. It’s a wine like this that reminds you why Chianti Classico is up there with the world’s finest!

2007 Chianti Classico Riserva – 15% (!), straw red garnet, intriguing saddle/tea leaf/incense/funghi notes that recall La Morra’s La Serra Barolo, saponata, lush, lowish acidity, lots of joy, still alive & very intricate, lots of pretty red fruit on the finish. A great sorpresa!

2013 ‘Cultus Boni’ Chianti Classico Riserva – c. 12k bts, bottled July ’16, 100% Monti fruit, 80% Sangiovese, 20% blend of 9 indigenous Tuscan varieties Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Canaiolo, Mammolo, Fogliatonda, Malvasia Nera, Sanforte, Pugnitello (!), very ethereal, Pinot-esque, quinine, orange skin, tight cassis, hint of creamy French oak, sophisticated, cassis, fine-tuned…their finest yet?

2013 ‘Sangioveto’ di Toscana IGT – tasted Jan’18, 14.5%, 100% Sangiovese from the estate’s historic – hence ‘Sangioveto’ – masale selezione vineyards located in Monti-in-Chianti, vinified 100% in wood tini, the accent on creamy red, strawberry ripple fruit, tempered in 2013 by a cooler, more restrained vintage. Thanks to the wood vinification, & the ripeness of the fruit, this 2013 is already open & enveloping, juicy fruit. Very expressive & giving.

2015 ‘Montebello’ di Toscana IGT  – tasted Nov’18 having been bottled in July, a sneak anteprima prior to a 2019 official release, similar blend to the 2013, but given the vintage a much riper strawberry fruit character, rich coulis intensity, juicy, very alluring…

2013 ‘Montebello’ di Toscana IGT  – tasted Jan”18, 15%, a unique but scarce (3,600 bts) ‘field-blend’ of 9 indigenous, historic Tuscan varieties that Badia a Coltibuono has revived, from a single Monti vyd planted in 1988, vinified separately & using wild yeast: the varieties being Mammolo, Ciliegiolo, Pugnitello, Colorino, Sanforte, Malvasia Nera, Canaiolo, Foglia Tonda, & Sangiovese! Strikingly different to the Sangioveto, being more ‘Old World’ to Sangioveto’s ‘New World’ flavour profile; more restraint than dash! Refined, cool quinine/Malvasia Nera, vertical, quasi Nebbiolo/Barolo nose, focus, darker, ‘cupo fruit, more than a hint of ‘sacrestia’ (!), a whiff of violets perhaps from the (much underrated Mammolo of Nobile), notable profondita, complexita, but also with a lush, ripe spot mid-palate.