Pèppoli

Vintage

Classification

Chianti Classico DOCG

Blend

90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot and Syrah

Climate

The autumn of 2009 and the following winter of 2010 were characterized by low temperatures and frequent rains in the Chianti Classico production zone; snow also fell towards the end of the year and continued to fall at intervals up until mid-March. The months of April, May, and June, were quite rainy and temperatures were below the seasonal norm, to the point of provoking a delay in the cycle of vine development in all of the different grape varieties. The summer, which began with high temperatures in early July together with generally dry weather, contributed to an excellent development of the grape bunches and a recovery of some of the ripening time previously lost. During the last days of July and the first half of August temperatures were rather low and this, along with three rainstorms which arrived, once against slowed down ripening and plant growth. The overall weather pattern made careful work of bunch selection - aimed both to containing production to reasonable levels and maintaining healthy conditions for the grapes - a necessity.
Picking operations began during the first ten days of September, a month which alternated warm, sunny, and windy days with others with precipitations, at times somewhat intense, but regularly followed by powerful north winds which rapidly dried both the grapes and the overall vineyard microclimate. The Merlot grapes were harvested between September 10th and 20th. In this same period Sangiovese finished its ripening thanks to cool nights and a daytime warmth which still persisted and brought the grapes to a state of  complete physiological ripeness, permitting the picking of the Sangiovese crop, together with the small portion of Syrah in the vineyards, to begin during the last ten days of September.
From the very moment in which the grapes arrived in the cellars and the first days of fermentation commenced, it was clear that the crop was a very healthy one and, as well, endowed both with much color and aroma and a decisive varietal character and personality, characteristics which promised a vintage of  high quality level.

Vinification

The varieties were fermented separately with the objective of achieving maximum quality in each. The Sangiovese fermented on its skins for approximately ten days in stainless steel tanks, while the Merlot and Syrah were fermented on their own to obtain wines with soft tannins and much fruit through a careful control of fermentation temperatures. The malolactic fermentation was completed before winter in all of the different grape varieties. Early in 2011 the wine was assembled and put into oak, where it remained for some nine months. The aging took place principally in larger casks of Slavonian oak, with 10% of the wine aged in smaller American oak barrels. The use of casks aimed at maintaining the fruit and fragrance of the fermentation and soften  and polish the tannins, while the American oak barrels brought nuances of fragrance which completed the overall aromatic range. The wine was bottled at the end of the aging cycle, and was then given a period of bottle aging and repose before commercial release.

Historical data

Pèppoli was first marketed in 1988 with the presentation of the 1985 vintage. It represented, stylistically, both a well structured and complex offering and a wine with much fragrance and fruit, a character was made possible by a unique micro-climate. The vineyards are planted in a particularly favorable valley on soils rich in mineral elements, ideal for the cultivation of a Sangiovese full of vitality and fruit. The Pèppoli estate, located  in the heart of Chianti Classico, consists of 100 total hectares (250 acres), fifty of which (125 acres) are planted to vines.

Tasting notes

Ruby red in color, the 2010 Pèppoli is characterized by notes of cherry fruit well amalgamated with chocolate and vanilla from the oak aging. On the palate the wine shows much Sangiovese character with soft an silky tannins and a good persistence on the finish and aftertaste.