For all our readers we will now be bringing you two regular weekly full profiles from the 11 & and upcoming 12th editions of Wine behind the label with our ratings. This should give you an excellent idea of what you can enjoy when purchasing a full guide. Here Neville profiles recent changes at Biondi Santi in Tuscany.

Biondi-Santi (Montalcino)

This is still Montalcino’s most famous estate, even if the wines are no longer the most expensive (see SOLDERA). Franco Biondi-Santi continued to make the wines from 19 ha with a traditional, non interventionist approach and without any outside assistance until his death in 2013. His family still continue to run the estate headed by Jacopo Biondi-Santi and his son, Tancredi, but in 2016 they sold a majority shareholding to the EPI Group owned by the Descours family, who also own both the CHARLES HEIDSIECK and PIPER-HEIDSIECK Champagne houses. 

Biondi-Santi entrance

The wines don’t lack for power or depth or indeed complexity but can be quite forbidding when young, with a structure that makes you wonder if there’s enough stuffing to match. Certainly in top vintages it would seem that there isbut patience is required. Rosso di Montalcino comes in two bottlings, a white label from young-vine fruit, and a red stripe from fruit not used for Brunello. Franco’s son Jacopo has overseen the wines’ distribution along with those of his own estate in the Maremma, Castello di Montepò. Schidione is Sangiovese with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, while Sassoalloro, produced in much greater quantities, is pure Sangiovese. Rich and oak-influenced, the best examples of both also have considerable structure and ageing potential. A third, Montepaone is a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon. Additional wines are being produced at Castello di Montepo but have not been tasted yet. (NB) 

The wines

Tenuta Greppo 

Recommended Reds: 

Brunello di Montalcino Riserva ★★★★ £H 

Brunello di Montalcino ★★★✩ £H 

Castello di Montepò 

Recommended Reds: 

Schidione ★★★✩ £E 

Sassoalloro ★★★ £D 

Ownership and Contact

Franco Biondi-Santi 

33250 Saint-Julien-Beychevelle

Tel: 0577 848087 Fax: 0577 849396




To find out more about Tuscany and Montalcino you can check out our background guide here

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