Maremma Toscana I.G.T.
60% Cabernet Franc, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
A particularly cold and rainy winter in 2010 delayed bud break and flowering and then fruit set. From July until late September the climate, instead, was particularly warm and dry. Given the good health of the vines, this led to gradual but complete ripening of the grapes, which gave wines of great integrity, varietal in aromas, and tannins of exceptional quality.
The grapes, carefully chosen and hand-picked into small packing cases, were selected a second time on sorting tables in the cellars before destemming and pressing. The must was fermented for 20 days in conical, temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at peak temperatures of 82° Fahrenheit (28° centigrade). Soft extraction techniques were used to insure high quality tannins and texture. The wine was then run off its skins into new oak barrels where, by the end of the year, it went through a complete malolactic fermentation. After fourteen months of barrel aging, the wine was bottled and aged a further ten months before release.
The Le Mortelle estate was once part of a larger complex, one which was already present, and therefore of a certain significance, on the mid-19th century maps of Tuscan Gran Duke Leopold II. The property 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 estate was purchased in 1999 by the Antinori family, convinced as it was that the area had an important potential for high quality wine production. 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 wine shows intense aromas of chocolate, mint, sweet spices, and liquorice, a nose of great complexity. The palate is soft on the attack, ample and enveloping, rich, and balanced. A savory wine, with much personality, a pleasure to drink.