Every wine has a story… especially the great ones. My wife, Kelly and I traveled around Italy with an extra, empty suitcase. Not quite empty, it contained styrofoam wine shippers (12 of them-a perfect case). We were determined to bring home 12 special wines (small production) and/or not usually exported. Thankfully all 12 bottles made it safely through customs and several careless baggage handlers!
On Sunday night we drank the last 1 of 4 bottles of 1999 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva that we purchased from the owner of Paridiso in Montalcino, Mauro Fastelli.
Three years ago, when we toured Montalcino wineries with a driver/guide, Franco Fadda, we weren’t scheduled to visit Paridiso. We only stopped in because it was toward the end of the day and many wineries were closing or closed. We drove onto the property just before sunset and at first it looked like it was closed as well. After some Italian negotiation (between The owner, Mauro and our guide Franco) Mauro welcomed us in. He was bottling the 2003 vintage of Brunello di Montalcino (BdM) and most of it was on pallets and fully allocated. He allowed us to taste the 2004 BdM from barrel and although it was 4 or 5 years away from being released it seemed like it was going to be an amazing wine.
Mauro wore an old weathered blue lacoste polo shirt with some holes in the seams and camouflague pants. He said that he had an offer to sell the property for €12.5 million and was considering it. He had no children, only his hunting dogs, and his wine (which he called his children). Kelly didn’t think he would ever sell knowing how deeply he cared for his property and his winemaking.
Three years later, as far as I can tell he is still at Paridiso in Montalcino, making wine, and demonstrating his commitment. I believe I can still taste that beautiful end of day sunset in his wines.
Where I have seen his wines for sale (not always available):