Simply on another planet - 2011 Miani Rosso

Posted by Joe Salamone

"Enzo Pontoni is simply on another planet."
—Antonio Galloni
2011 Miani Rosso

If Enzo Pontoni is not that well-known, blame the miniscule yields and the general disregard for fame or fortune from the hyper-attentive winemaker.

Pontoni is nearly always in the vineyards, maniacally tending his vines.

All this hard work and expertise shows. Miani's are some of the cultiest, most hunted and most impressive wines in Italy.

Galloni's "on another planet" comment is spot on. Not just because this legend is nearly 7 feet tall, a total recluse, and, up until not so long ago, worked out of a decrepit garage with his mother living right upstairs. Enzo Pontoni is on another planet because Enzo Pontoni is making mind-blowing wine.

While Pontoni's entire range is extreme in its concentration, complexity and overall quality, it's Miani's reds that people go wild for. Every time we offer Miani's reds, I always find myself going through painful allocations at the end of the day.

Pontoni produces fewer than 800 cases a year, and yields in 2011 were particularly low. He is notorious for his draconian, barrel-by-barrel, selection. As Galloni puts it, "his excruciatingly high standards are the stuff of legend."

In 2011, Miani didn't release either of his Merlots nor his Calvari Refosco. This is all to say that the 2011 Rosso was really elevated. Keep in mind that his single vineyard Merlots sell for $220+ and his Calvari Refosco goes for somewhere around $380-425+.

The 2011 Rosso strikes a middle ground between the richness and power of 2009 and the nimble energy of 2010. It's a saturating and intense wine, but what makes Miani special is that he's able to make wines that are so jam-packed with complexity and density while remaining detailed and finessed.

Clearly, Miani's obsessive, skillful winemaking plays a huge part. But terroir helps. Pontoni's entirely organic operation sits on some of Friuli's finest terroir, the Ponca soils of Colli Orientali that contribute a sleek elegance to the wines.

We rarely get to offer Miani, and when we do it's a one-shot deal: here today, gone tomorrow. Please give us your ideal order and we'll do our best.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits