Tenuta Montemagno, elegance in all its forms
For years, Tiziano Barea’s winery in the heart of Monferrato has been a testament to his great capacity to combine wine-making excellence with both the elegance of a production and hospitality establishment and the surrounding landscape.
I have already come to Tenuta Montemagno three times, but it is one of those wineries, one of those territories that you never get tired of looking at, of visiting because each time it offers different perspectives and ever new positive sensations.
We are in the heart of Monferrato – literally – because the estate, owned by the talented and passionate Tiziano Barea, is truly surrounded in all directions by the elegant Monferrato countryside.
Putting yourself at the center of the estate, therefore, allows you to have a privileged observation point of one of the most beautiful rural areas in our country where it is not “only” the vineyard that stands out but also the woods, arable land, hazelnut groves and, in this period, even the beautiful sunflowers that lend brushstrokes of sheer beauty to the landscape.
Tiziano is a careful and scrupulous custodian of this beauty. I would like to say that his main concern is to ensure that everything is “coordinated”, nothing out of place and even his wines are positively influenced by this philosophy.
In this he is greatly assisted by the “genetically” elegant nature of this place.
And if it is often said that every dog resembles its owner, I would say that the landscape and wines of Tenuta Montemagno show an absolute likeness to their owner.
When our camper Gino reached the estate, we found ourselves surrounded as if by magic by an enchanting atmosphere and the gloomy weather, with a light drizzle, only enhanced the natural charm of this place.
This Italian Wine Tour of ours has amplified our awareness of the beauty of places. Re-reading our articles on the various wineries we have encountered, the “aesthetic” element is indeed of the highest priority along with the so-called human factor. But we are increasingly convinced that the man with his character and his sensitivity together with the beauty of the places will be the strategic factors for the future of our wine-producing network.
For this reason, in my opinion, wineries such as Tenuta Montemagno are a very important model of the above because they effectively demonstrate the fundamental mix between expertise and human passion and at the same time the elegance of a place both from a natural perspective as well as of the facilities built there.
The cellar itself is truly an ideal model of how to build a structure without creating in the least a negative impact on the natural landscape.
It is a brilliant project because externally it appears much shorter than it actually is when entering the structure.
On this trip we were able to see the extraordinary evolution of cellar design, in particular as regards their sustainability also from the landscape point of view.
But as already pointed out, the wines of Tenuta Montemagno are an excellent example of elegance and, at the same time, of respect for the authentic nature of the vines which they come from.
This time, too, we tasted a great part of the Estate’s range which completely impressed us, demonstrating the effectiveness of their so-called TM method which is characterized by the following aspects: limited production, careful defoliation of the vineyard to allow correct ventilation of the selected hand-picked grapes; a second, strictly manual selection precedes the mechanical de-stemming phase and the subsequent fermentation is carried out exclusively with cultured yeasts. For red wines, this delicate phase begins only when the vat has been filled, keeping the temperatures in perfect balance thanks to the Nectar technology.
The results of these choices are also confirmed by the winery’s classic method which, among other things, demonstrates how Barbera can also become an excellent variety for sparkling wine. Tenuta Montemagno, at least in my experience, produces some of the best bubbles with this grape which is harvested early, vinified in pale pink, with a small maceration of the grapes in the press in an inert atmosphere in order to protect the delicate aromas of rose petal and red fruits.
We were also very impressed with the Barbera d’Asti Superiore, the Mysterium, which we already knew well. But a nice surprise came from one of the alas currently underrated Piedmontese vines, the Grignolino d’Asti. The winery’s Ruber has reconnected us with the quality of this wine, with its freshness and drinkability which, among other things, makes it one of the best Italian “gastronomic” wines.
I have to make a particular mention of one of my favorite grape varieties, Timorasso, which in Tenuta Montemagno is vinified both as a varietal (Solis Vis) and blended with Sauvignon (Nymphae). In other words – two wines that literally drive me crazy.
After a divine lunch in the splendid restaurant of the Relais of Tenuta Montemagno, Gino started honking the horn to remind us that unfortunately it was time to leave.
In the meantime, the sun reappeared, peeking through the clouds in the sky above the vineyards.
If there was yet another reminder of the poignant beauty of this place, it came through loud and clear.