In 2006, Andrea Cortonesi put a lot of miles on his car. Already the founder, proprietor, vigneron and winemaker for the Uccelliera estate, he was also running his own restaurant in Siena called Il Casato. It was in his capacity as restaurateur that the Voliero label was born: in researching all of the best possible local products for the menu, a friend of his in Montalcino offered him grapes from his vineyard in the Canalicchio cru in northern Montalcino to make a wine just for the restaurant. There was never enough Uccelliera wines to go around, so he accepted the idea to produce a second label.

Andrea is described by many as "salt of the Earth," and we won't dispute that. While many other producers with excess demand would have simply blended this extra fruit into their own wine to increase their flagship production, Andrea felt this would not only be dishonest, but also a disservice to his clients who have come to love Uccelliera for being 100% from Castelnuovo dell'Abate. Voliero, however, could be different. In keeping with the theme of the Uccelliera name (literally "the birdcage"), Andrea emblazoned the label with a feathered, flying woman. This is also a sly reference to the higher altitude vineyards from which Voliero is sourced. 2006, 2007 and 2008 came from Canalicchio, but from 2009 onward, Andrea found other high elevation vineyards closer to home from which to source Voliero.

In 2010, Antonio Galloni was visiting the estate and tasted the Voliero wines. He flipped his lid for them! With such high praise, even though Cortonesi had not intended Voliero for export, the wines immediately found an audience abroad. And Skurnik was one of the first clients in the United States.

Now in its 11th year of production, some things have changed at Voliero, while most have remained the same. Production is still very limited, with only about 600 cases of Brunello and 400 cases of Rosso produced each year. The vinification, as always, has been fairly traditional: spontaneous fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel with fermentation/maceration lasting about 20 days. The wine then goes into large Slavonian oak casks of 20 hectoliters and larger for 30 months. But the source of the fruit has migrated from Canalicchio to closer to the winery: the vineyards are now located in both the higher elevation areas of Castelnuovo dell'Abate and Sant'Angelo in Colle. Andrea describes the differences between his two labels eloquently: Uccelliera is a single subzone wine, and reflects the very specific and determined characteristics of Castelnuovo: power, fruit, and profundity. Uccelliera's vineyards are near Ciacci's Pianrosso (about 150 meters above sea level), and reflect the warmth of the area, the flavor profile showing chocolate, leather and "amarena"--sour cherry. Voliero comes from vineyards 200 meters higher in elevation than Uccelliera, and gives the idea of the classic blend of Montalcino Brunello. It combines two high altitude vineyards of Castelnuovo and Sant'Angelo, and plays on the elegance, finesse and brightness that its elevation imparts.

NOTES ON WINEMAKING: Both Brunello and Rosso from Voliero ferment spontaneously in temperature-controlled stainless steel for 20 days. Malolactic fermentation occurs without the addition of bacteria, and then the wine is put into large French and Slavonian oak casks (20, 30 & 40 hl). Brunello remains in cask for 30 months, while the Rosso remains in oak for about four months.

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Voliero (Cortonesi) Brunello di Montalcino 2013
94  James Suckling 
Vinous Media 94 "Bright red with a pale rim. Knockout aromas and flavors of spicy red cherry, licorice, cedar and aromatic herbs. Clean, ripe and round, with saline nuances lingering nicely on the smooth but very lively finish. A classic Brunello from Voliero. -- Ian D'Agata"  James Suckling 94
Item Number: 28656
Case: $563.40

Voliero Brunello di Montalcino 2009
93  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 93 "The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino Voliero is a soft and corporeal expression with voluptuous contours of ripe fruit, blackberry, licorice and dark espresso bean. The wine shows its oak imprinting well (it ages 36 months in barrel), without feeling too heavy or massive. The obvious
Item Number: 16293

Voliero Rosso di Montalcino 2014
Wine Information:  The inaugural vintage of Andrea Cortonesi’s “Voliero” project was extremely well received and we are excited to roll out the second incarnation. Originally destined only for his Siena trattoria, Andrea crafted “Voliero” from a neighbor’s vines. These wines share the unmistakable

Voliero Rosso di Montalcino 2013
91  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 91 "Andrea Cortonesi's 2013 Rosso di Montalcino Voliero is a gorgeous expression that I happily recommend to anyone looking for a solid Rosso to pair with their steak dinner. The wine shows a great sense of restraint, with richness and opulence that never goes over the top. You'll

Voliero (Cortonesi) Brunello di Montalcino 2010
96  James Suckling 
James Suckling 96 "A Brunello with dark fruits such as plum and cherry with hints of flowers and chocolate undertones. Full body, fine tannins and dried citrus fruit. Tangy and spicy. Very long and intense. - jamesuckling.com (December 2014)"  Wine Advocate 95 "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino

Voliero Rosso di Montalcino 2010
91  Robert Parker 
Robert Parker 91 "The 2010 Rosso di Montalcino is drop-dead gorgeous. It boasts stunning textural finesse and elegance. Sweet red cherries, flowers, spices and licorice are some of the many nuances that take shape in the glass. In 2010 the Rosso is big, rich, powerful and strikingly beautiful. The

Voliero Brunello di Montalcino 2007
95  Robert Parker 
Robert Parker 95 "The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino is striking in this vintage, just as it was in 2006. Freshly cut flowers, spices, mint, licorice and tobacco are some of the many notes that jump from the glass in this highly expressive, engaging Brunello. The 2007 shows the freshness and energy of

Voliero Brunello di Montalcino 2006
95  Robert Parker 
 Robert Parker 95 "The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Voliero is a gorgeous, breathtaking wine laced with perfumed violets, dark fruit, minerals and licorice, all of which come together beautifully in the glass. This is a taut, energetic wine that shows off the dazzling freshness and vibrancy typical