Montalcino is a hot spot for some of the biggest names in Italy when it comes to collectible wines, especially Brunellos. To find great value though, you have to dig for a great producer with a great story. This is where you will find wines like Casa Raia.
The current owners, Pierre Jean and Kalyna Monnoyer had a strong connection to Tuscany from their time visiting as children. Kalyna’s mother bought a small vineyard that was nearly extinct with the hopes to bring it back to life. What makes this vineyard so special, is that previously it was owned by the famed Biondi Santi family. The unique and special terroir of this land produced exceptional Sangiovese that was used in their Riserva level Brunello.
After a couple years of rejuvenation, the wine production was getting larger, and the quality of the wines were getting better. Now, Casa Raia is making exceptional wines in extremely low quantities. Truly a family run and operated winery built on the passion they have for the region.
In the past, the wines best qualities were hidden by an extensive time in oak. Now that they have really dialed in their wines, they use less oak to express the purity of their terroir and the quality of their grapes. 2012 was a good year in Montalcino. It will most likely take a back seat to vintages like 2013 and 2015 which are looking like some of the best ever, but 2012 was still very good. The wines are a little more approachable in their youth compared to some of the other great vintages which is why this is such a great buy! You can drink this while you wait for you others to settle in.
James Suckling scored the wine 92 points and gave a simple and straight forward review, “This is fruit-forward with lots of depth and intensity. Cherry and berry character is profuse. Full and velvety. Flavorful finish. Fantastic. Better in 2019.”
The wine has all the classic characteristics of Brunello di Montalcino, and while it is drinking well right now, it will age beautifully for another decade or even longer! This is truly a special wine by a very small producer. They have brought their tiny vineyard back to life and now producing some really incredible bottles of wine!