Rosso di Montepulciano DOC
85% Prugnolo Gentile, 15% Merlot and other complementary red grape varieties
The winter of the year 2011 was very rainy, but with temperatures which were not particularly low; the bud break of the vines began in early April and finished in a ten day period with the later-ripening varieties. Spring weather continued in a regular fashion, guaranteeing an excellent bud set during the period of the flowering of the plants (late May and early June), but was followed by a further, and lengthy, period of temperatures notably cooler than normal seasonal averages, which lasted until early August and assisted the development of the vegetation. An abrupt rise in temperatures then arrived and lasted until September 17th, a period marked by the absence of the normal temperature swings between daytime heat and evening and nighttime coolness, slowing the ripening of precocious varieties such as Merlot. Other varieties were able to ripen normally once more normal weather, and the typical daily temperature swings, returned. The arrival of rains, finally, favored an excellent ripening in the Sangiovese grapes as well, which were picked from late September to early October.
The wines produced from these grapes are characterized by a good structure and balanced aromas.
The picking of the grapes for Sabazio took place during the month of September. This slightly early start to the harvest (due to the heat of the month of August) was aimed at maintaining the integrity of the fruit without, however, sacrificing optimal ripeness in the crop. The grapes were destemmed and then pressed and fermented in stainless steel tanks, where the fermentation lasted for a period of ten days. The wine was then racked into large oak casks where it was put through a complete malolactic fermentation and began an aging period which lasted four months. The finished wine was then prepared for bottling.
The La Braccesca farm, which extends extends over a total surface area of 420 hectares (approximately 1037 acres), is composed of two separate blocks: the historic nucleus of the property near Montepulciano, with 103 hectares (some 254 acres) of vineyards, and a second block, with 162 hectares (approximately 400 acres) of vineyards, at the foot of the hills of Cortona. The first vintage of the La Braccesca Rosso di Montepulciano was the 1992. The wine takes its name from Sabatino Lulli, known as “Sabazio”, a monk at the abbey of Montepulciano who was the first, in the Middle Ages, to give precise indications as to how to ferment the grapes grown in the zone.
The wine shows ripe fruit on the nose along with notes of tobacco and spice. On the palate, the cherry and blackberry fruit is felt along with balanced tannins which give the wine suppleness and elegance. The finish is long and mineral in flavor, typical of the Sangiovese of Montepulciano.