There are many contestants for the title of Brunello di Montalcino’s prettiest estate, but in our opinion, Il Palazzone is ten leaps ahead of the rest: the views alone are to die for, while the wines produced at this boutique winery are some of the finest made today in the venerable Brunello di Montalcino region.
Il Palazzone started its life as the dream of one man, Mario Bollag, who had spent years of his life surrounded by fine food and wine, and yearned to make his own. The son of a Swiss lawyer from Basel, Mario traveled the world in his younger years, before setting up home in San Francisco where he ran a successful travel business. Yet, his passion for wine remained unfilled and so after much searching and deliberation, Mario took the plunge and purchased a small property in the Montalcino region of Tuscany in the early 1980s.
His project soon became the talk of the town, and Mario’s wines were quickly recognized as some of the finest of the new generation of Brunello di Montalcino. However, in 2000 Mario decided to move onto pastures new, and Il Palazzone was sold to Richard Parsons, the former CEO of Time Warner and a man for whom wine was a serious business. Assembling a crack team, including British estate manager Laura Gray and winemaker Paolo Vagaggini, Parsons set Il Palazzone on a course toward greatness.
Indeed, since his purchase in 2000, Parsons has invested a monumental amount of energy and money into making Il Palazzone a formidable name in Brunello di Montalcino, including funding the construction of a state-of-the-art winery which was completed in 2012. Yet at the heart of this estate’s philosophy is great respect for the traditions of the region, which includes aging wines in large oak barrels for several years, and above all else respect for the unique terroir of Brunello di Montalcino. In this regard, Il Palazzone is way ahead of the curve – cultivating three very separate vineyard sites, the estate blends wines from these distinct terroirs to forge something that is much greater than the sum of its parts.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding – Il Palazzone continues to make a superlative range of wines that are remarkably consistent despite the vintage variations seen in Brunello di Montalcino. A Super-Tuscan blend is concentrated, powerful and impressively structured, while the multi-vintage blend Rosso del Palazzone is the best value deal in Tuscany today. But ultimately, for our money at least, the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is the cream of the crop, a wine which demonstrates the essential magic inherent to this idyllic corner of Tuscany. Powerful yet balanced, structured yet approachable and both complex and user-friendly, it is a wine that stands the test of time.
Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino
100% Sangiovese. The wine is fermented in oak vats and aged in Slavonian oak barrels for a maximum period of 46 months. An elegant, traditionally-made Brunello that is approachable on release, but will age gracefully for many decades.
Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
100% Sangiovese. The wine is fermented in oak vats and aged in Slavonian oak barrels for several years, usually one year longer than the standard release. A supremely complex and elegant Brunello suitable for extended cellaring after release.
Il Palazzone Lorenzo & Isabelle
50% Sangiovese, 45% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The wine is fermented in oak vats and aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 34 months. A Super-Tuscan made to honour the parents of the current owner, Richard Parsons.
Il Palazzone Rosso del Palazzone
100% Sangiovese. A multi-vintage blend, produced from wines that were deemed unsuitable for the 'Grand Vin” Brunello di Montalcino.
Loc. Le Due Porte
245 - 53024 Montalcino Tuscany
Tel (+39) 577 846 142
Fax (+34) 577 849 101
- DOCG Brunello di Montalcino
- Area under vine
- 5 Hectares
- Age of vines
- 30 years+ Low yields
- Oak barrel origin
- Maurizio Castelli
- Richard Parsons
- 5000-10,000 bottles per annum, depending on the vintage
- Grape varietals
- Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot