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5218 Lawton Avenue
Oakland, CA 94114


Oliver McCrum Wines has been importing small production Italian wine and distributing to fine retail and restaurant establishes throughout California since 1994. Over time, our portfolio of producers has steadily grown to over 45 producers from 15 different regions of Italy. We look for typical Italian wines with clarity and freshness, usually made from indigenous Italian grape varieties using clean, transparent winemaking techniques and no obvious use of oak. 


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Filtering by Tag: Salicutti

Harvest Update: Podere Salicutti

Michele Boscia

An incredibly detailed harvest report from Francesco Leanza of Podere Salicutti in Montalcino

November 26, 2013:

"To be brief I will say that the 2103 spring and summer months were characterized by temperatures lower by about 4-5 degrees celsius with respect to the average temperatures of recent years e rain considerably more abundant in the months of July and August. 

This weather led to a retardation of all the vegetative phases of the plant (bud break, flowering, fruiting) and evolution (veraison, sugar maturation, phenolic ripeness) by around 10-12 days with respect to that recorded in the last 4-5 years. 

The rain and the higher humidity also created a considerable problem for the control of powdery mildew that developed in an unusual way in the second half of July. The powdery mildew attacked the younger leaves causing wilting and loss. The result has been more or less severe damage from the mildew.

The poor state of the leaves ultimately slowed the process of ripening, especially regarding the phenolic ripeness (skins and seeds).

Something similar happened in 2005 but the difference of that year was that the month of September had 4 weeks of hot temperatures and dry weather which was very useful for the plant to make up for the slow growth in the summer months.

In conclusion, here in Montalcino, almost everyone began the harvest between the end of September and the first weeks of October and those that had to wait for sufficient maturity further than the first days of October found great difficulty with the arrival of heavy rains that severely damaged the fruit. 

I harvested from day 2 to day 4 of October with three beautiful days of sun. In 2011 and 2012 I had harvested from the 16th to the 19th of September. 

The quality of the grapes, a part from a selection made to eliminate a little damage from the powdery mildew, was very good. 

The concentration of sugars was slightly inferior with respect to the last few years and the acidity slightly higher. 

The phenolic ripeness was not optimal but acceptable. 

Overall, regarding my estate, I would say it was a one of a kind year and rather demanding because of the additional work required in the vineyard. 

The quality of wines seems to me good (I would say medium high) and characterized by good acidity and freshness, slightly higher than usual. The result could be even more interesting wines. 

As usual, we will need to wait for the evolution of the wine to understand and evaluate their eventual balance."

New Producer: Podere Salicutti

Michele Boscia

We are excited to be getting back into Tuscany after some years not selling any Tuscan wine. Podere Salicutti is the first of three new Tuscan producers we will be introducing over the next few months. We have a limited first release available now.

Some notes on Podere Salicutti from Kerin O'Keefe's wonderful book on Brunello di Montalcino:

If you appreciate the subtle elegance and complexity of great Burgundy, this is your Brunello: luminous and garnet-colored with earthy flavors and a silky palate. Proprietor Francesco Leanza makes his graceful Brunellos with organic farming methods, wild yeasts, and as little intervention as possible in the cellar...[he] ended up choosing an ideal location that has allowed him such great fruit that it need only be guided rather than forced [in the cellar]... These are some of the best Brunellos...

I agree completely with these notes. The wines are fermented using native yeasts, then aged in a combination of puncheons and large barrels made of French oak, and they show extraordinary elegance, a characteristic that is not always the first thing one notices about Brunello di Montalcino, as well as the acidity and fine tannins that promise a long life in the bottle. Leanza is one of the three founders of Sangiovese Per Amici, a group that was set up to represent an alternative to the Consorzio of Brunello di Montalcino, which many observers feel is not a trustworthy guardian of the appellation after the Brunellogate scandal of a few years ago, and subsequent efforts to allow non-traditional varieties in Rosso di Montalcino.   - Oliver

Podere Salicutti has an incredible array of interesting information about their philosophy, organic farming practices, soil composition, vineyard details, and winemaking details on their website. Following are links to the tech details of the two wines we currently have in stock now. 

Rosso di Montalcino 2010

Brunello di Montalcino 2008