(2008) This special 600th anniversary bottling of Montepulciano celebrates the castle where Farnese estate barrel matures its top reds. The best grapes from Farnese's high-altitude vineyards were very gently pressed, followed by extended ageing in barriques. Laithwaites says only a "tiny parcel" of this special cuvée is available. The colour is dramatically deep, and the nose follows suit with a deep well of plum, chocolate and smoky tobacco, swirling with a juicy black fruit character, but plenty of spice too. On the palate this is very nicely styled, with a really savoury, dry, grown-up structure, where the mineral and crisp-edge black fruit is supported by plenty of damson skin tang and a solid tannin and acid framework. Long, lithe and elegant yet with considerable power.