Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG Riserva
100% Prugnolo Gentile
The climate in the Montepulciano area in 2008 was characterized by an approximately ten day delay in vegetative development compared to recent vintages, but a balanced growing season eventually brought the grapes to a perfect state of ripeness. Frequent spring rains and low temperatures, below seasonal averages, led to an initial ten day delay in the ripening cycle of the vine. August was warm and dry, but temperatures dipped once again in early September, accentuating the delay which had accumulated during the previous phases of the season and slowing the final maturation of such late-maturing varieties as Prugnolo Gentile all the way up to the beginning of the harvest. In conclusion, the ripening of the grapes of the La Braccesca vineyards took place gradually and in a balanced way, thanks as well to higher temperatures during the second half of September and the first part of October, which further favored the achievement of healthy and ripe grapes.
The grapes of the Santa Pia vineyard were selected twice in order to leave on the vine only the finest bunches for transformation into wine. The first, carried out in July (a bunch thinning in the vineyard) was aimed at lightening the load to ripen on the vine, the second to choose only the grape bunches which showed excellent ripeness. Picking then began and the grapes, once in the cellar, were delicately destemmed and pressed and the must fermented on its skins for approximately twenty days. The wine, at the end of its fermentation and maceration, went into 80 and 130 gallon barrels (tonneaux), where it went through a complete malolactic fermentation and then aged for a period of sixteen months. Then was bottled and aged in bottle for other 36 months before commercial release. This long aging period helped to smooth out tannin’s exuberance.
This wine is produced from a 37 acre (15 hectare) vineyard plot situated in the Santa Pia area, reputed one of the foremost zones for the production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The vineyard is planted to Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese), carefully selected over the years in order to obtain a cru which could best express the character of this zone. La Braccesca estate, with an overall surface area of some 1170 acres (471 hectares), consists of two separate blocks: the historical nucleus of the property, with over 255 vineyard acres (103 hectares) planted in the finest sub-zones for the production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, is located in the township of Montepulciano; the other block, of some 530 acres of vines (213 hectares), is situated at the foot of the hills surrounding the city of Cortona.
A wine of great impact, the 2008 Santa Pia is an intense ruby red in color, shows aromas of blackberries and red berry fruit along with well fused notes of tobacco and vanilla. On the palate the wine is soft and savory with an important tannic structure and a supple and elegant texture. The finish and aftertaste are long and caressing with mineral notes which are the distinguishing characteristic of the Prugnolo Gentile of Montepulciano.