DOC Maremma Toscana
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc
The 2014 vintage was characterized by mild winter weather and by a cool climate during the summer. These conditions favored a longer growing season and a slower ripening process for the grapes. The weather remained mild during the month of September, with useful temperature swings between daytime warmth and evening and nighttime coolness which assisted the crop to reach significant ripeness levels in terms of sugar accumulation, of aromatic development, and of roundness of tannins. The harvest began in mid-September for the Cabernet Franc and terminated at the end of the month with the Cabernet Sauvignon.
The grapes were selected during the picking and then brought to the cellar to be destemmed and pressed. The fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks and the fermentation temperature was held to a maximum of 77° Fahrenheit (25° centigrade) to fully bring out all the aromatic and varietal character of the grapes and conserve to the maximum extent the integrity of the fruit. During the fifteen days of maceration during the fermentation the skins were regularly bathed to extract their noble tannins. After being run off its skins, the wine went back into stainless steel tanks to be put through a complete malolactic fermentation and then went into small oak barrels for a twelve month aging period.
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’s nose shows powerful and penetrating notes of red berry fruit and dark chocolate along with balsamic and spicy sensations contributed by the oak. The palate is supple and endowed with soft and velvety tannins. An elegant wine with a fine length and persistence and a finish and aftertaste which recall mint, tobacco, and chocolate.