DOC Maremma Toscana
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc
After a mild winter, a somewhat cool summer led to a longer growing season than the average of recent years, postponing picking by approximately ten days. With the arrival of the month of September, a rise in temperature assisted in a full ripening of the grapes, which conserved at the same time good flavor freshness.
The crop was first selected in the field during picking, then destemmed and pressed at the cellars and the must fermented in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation temperatures rose to a maximum of 77° Fahrenheit (25° centigrade) in order to fully bring out the varietal aromas and the integrity of the fruit. During the fifteen day period of maceration, the skins were regularly bathed in order to extract only their noblest and most elegant elements. Once run off its skins, the wine was racked again into the stainless steel tanks, where it was put through a complete malolactic fermentation by the end of the year. The wine was then aged for twelve months in small oak barrels and bottled. Several months of bottle aging preceded commercial release.
The Le Mortelle estate was once part of a larger property which already appeared on the maps of Tuscan Grand Duke Leopold II in the mid-19th century. The estate is located in the province of Grosseto, in the heart of the lower Maremma, approximately 5.5 miles from the town of Castiglione della Pescaia. It extends over 675 total acres (270 hectares), 410 of which are planted to vines., principally Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese in addition to the more recent parcels of such white grape varieties as Vermentino, Ansonica, and Viognier. The property was acquired by the Antinori family in 1999, convinced as it was that the area had a very important potential for the production of fine wine. Mortella is the name of wild myrrh, a plant widely present on the Tuscan coast and now the symbol of the estate. The new cellars of le Mortelle are largely underground in order to reduce to the maximum extent their impact on the environment. They were built to take advantage of the temperature-stabilizing properties of the rocks below ground, a choice inspired by a maximum respect for the natural balance of the site and its preservation: energy-savings are produced by the possibility of moving the wine by gravity flow, the water utilized in the cellar is purified by plants and then goes back into the local surroundings, and the energy utilized for operations is derived solely from renewable sources. The estate is open by appointment for guided visits with tastings; in addition, the wines and seasonal fruit can be purchased in the store on the premises.
An intense red in color, the wine shows a nose of cherries and chocolate. The aromas are rich and complex, dominated by berry fruit along with floral and balsamic sensations. The palate is supple and ample with a vibrant finish of pleasurable freshness conferred by the Cabernet Franc. The fruity notes are also present on the aftertaste along with light notes of fresh tobacco and mint.