The Tuscan estate Il Molino di Grace is owned and operated by American Frank Grace with assistance from his son, Tim Grace. Purchased in 1995 this hillside estate consists of 100 acres of vines planted at 1000-1300′ situated just south of the town of Panzano. When Frank Grace bought the estate there was no winery on the property as the grapes were sold to local producers. Using the site of a ruined barn, Grace and his winery manager, Gerhard Hirmer, designed and built a state of the art winery which opened its doors in 1999.
All the Grace Family wines are estate produced and bottled using organic farming methods and sustainable practices in the vineyard and winery. The grapes–mainly Sangiovese and Merlo–are 25 years of age on average and planted on nutrient poor soils. Il Molino di Grace is dry farmed and has a density in its older vineyards of around 3000 plants per hectare and average yields of 1.5 to 2 kg per vine.
The wines are produced with the help of Franco Barnabei, Italy’s famed winemaking consultant and a specialist in Sangiovese. The approach to winemaking involves the use of temperature controlled steel vats for fermentation, slow soft extraction, and aging in stainless steel and large format Slovenian oak and new and second year French barriques of 225 lt and larger tonneaux. The oak-aged wines aged are also bottle aged from 1 to 3 years before release.
Importer: Empson USA Alexandria, VA
Il Molino di Grace 2009 Chianti Classico ($22) 90 The Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico is 100% Sangiovese and offers pleasant aromas of dried cherries and earth. It is soft and velvet smooth with good density of sweet red fruit on the palate. Aged for 11 months in stainless steel, French barriques and tonneaux, it shows good acidity and overall structure with a long finish.
Il Molino di Grace 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva ” Il Margone ” ($37) 88 The 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva ” Il Margone” is also 100% Sangiovese and displays a dark ruby color with aromas of dried plum, mushroom, spice and herbs. Aged for 11 months in barriques and tonneaux and three years in bottle, it has a dark earthy fruit character with a velvet texture, but is lacking in freshness and vibrancy. Aeration helps a little but doesn’t change its basic character.
Il Molino de Grace 2010 Il Volano IGT ($14) 89 The 2010 il Volano is a delicious entry-level red blend of 75% Sangiovese and 25% Merlot. It is fruit forward and earthy with black cherry fruit on the nose. Aged in stainless steel and bottle, it is soft and velvety smooth on the palate and shows good weight, balance and freshness. It also has a lovely finish with lingering notes of dried dark cherry fruit. Great value!
Mike Potashnik and Don Winkle August 2013