Cortona DOC Syrah
The climate of the 2008 vintage in Montepulciano and Cortona was characterized by a ten day delay in the ripening cycle of the vine and the grapes compared to recent vintages, but by a growing season which, as well, in the end brought the grapes to perfect maturity. Abundant spring rainfall along with low temperatures, below seasonal averages, resulted in the ten day delay in ripening cited above. The month of August, instead, was warm and dry, but temperatures dipped again in early September, leaving intact the ripening delay of the previous period. This delay in physiological ripening lasted through the entire phase of the vine cycle for such late-ripening varieties as Prugnolo Gentile as well. In conclusion, the maturation of the La Braccesca grapes was a long, gradual, and balanced process, but one which concluded positively thanks to a late September and early October rise in temperatures which assisted in achieving perfectly healthy grapes, well suited - above all in terms of fragrance and elegance - for the production of high level wines.
The optimal ripening point of the estate’s Syrah grapes arrived during the second half of the month of September. With a production per vine which averaged from one kilogram to a kilogram and a half, a very low figure, we sought to arrive at excellent ripeness levels both in terms of the sunshine absorbed and the activity of the plant itself. After picking, carried out entirely by hand, the grapes were brought to the cellar, destemmed and given a soft pressing, and the must then transferred to stainless steel tanks to begin its fermentation. Fermentation temperatures were maintained at a maximum level of 28° centigrade (82° Fahrenheit) and the fermentation itself followed a previous three to four day period of cold maceration on the skins at 7° centigrade (45° Fahrenheit) aimed at conserving the fruity and floral notes of the variety. After twenty days of fermentation and skin contact, the wine went into new, French oak barrels (60 gallons in capacity) where it went through a complete malolactic fermentation and began a sixteen month period of barrel aging. Bottling took place during the summer of 2010.
The La Braccesca farm, which extends over a total surface area of 420 hectares (approximately 1037 acres) consists of two distinct and separate blocks: the historic nucleus, located in Montepulciano, includes 103 hectares (some 254 acres) of vineyards in the appellation’s finest sub-zones for the production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, while the second, with 162 hectares (approximately 400 acres) is situated at the foot of the hills which surround the town of Cortona.
A lovely full red in color with aromas of chocolate: these are the characteristics with which this wine presents itself. The first sensations on the palate are sweet and soft, and the long finish and aftertaste show delicate notes of licorice and ripe fruit.