DOC Maremma Toscana
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc
Winter 2011, mild and quite rainy, assisted in creating good reserves of water both in the soil and in the estate’s two irrigation lakes.
Bud break, in early April, was slightly early and cool weather from this period to early July, led to a regular development of vegetation. The second half of July and, especially, the month of August were very hot, and a severe selection of the grapes during the harvest was necessary to eliminate berries which were either not completely ripe or raisined.
Parcel by parcel picking and a double passage through the vineyard gave us, nonetheless, fragrant wines with quality tannins.
The grapes were selected during picking, then destemmed and pressed in the cellar. The must went into stainless steel tanks and was chilled to 46-50° Fahrenheit (8-10° centigrade) during the first 4-5 days to achieve greater fragrance and integrity of fruit. Fermentation took place at 77° Fahrenheit (25° centigrade) and lasted fifteen days; soft extraction techniques were used to enhance suppleness of tannins. After being run off its skins, the wine went into stainless steel tanks and finished its malolactic fermentation by the end of the year. It was then racked into small oak barrels, where it aged for twelve months and was bottled. A period of bottle aging preceded release.
The Le Mortelle estate, once part of a more important property already shown on maps during the reign of Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany in the mid-19th century, is located in the heart of the lower Tuscan Maremma, in the province of Grosseto at approximately five miles from the town of Castiglione della Pescaia. It extends over a total of 675 acres (270 hectares), 410 of which are planted to vines, prevalently Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese along with - more recently - such white grape varieties as Vermentino, Ansonica, and Viognier. The property was purchased in 1999 by the Antinori family, convinced as it was that the area had an important potential for high quality wine production. Mortella is the name of wild myrrh, a shrub which characterizes the coastal area of Tuscany and is the symbol of the estate.
The new Le Mortelle cellars are largely underground in order to minimize to the maximum possible extent the visual impact on the environment. It was constructed in order to best exploit the natural thermal regulation offered by the rocks in the sub-soil and with a maximum respect for preserving and maintaining natural balances: energy savings due to gravity-flow winemaking procedures, plant-purification (phyto-purification) of the cellar water which is then returned to the environment, and the use solely of energy provided by renewable sources.
The estate is open – with advance notice and reservations - to the public for guided tours with tastings, and visitors can acquire both the estate’s wines and the fruit grown on the property.
The aromas are intensely minty and show sweeter notes of ripe red berry fruit and spices as well. The wine is velvety on the palate, savory and solid with a vibrant finish and a fruity aftertaste.