DOC Maremma Toscana
80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
The climate of the 2001 vintage did not present any particular difficulties with the sole exception of the phase of the final ripening of the grapes, which took place between August and September in a period of high heat and scarce rainfall. The favorable exposure of the vineyards, the orientation of the vine rows, the composition and depth of the soils as well as their moisture-retaining capacity create important differences in the characteristics of the grapes and, accordingly, in the wines as well.
The grapes, hand-picked into small packing cases with much care and attention, were further selected on sorting tables before being destemmed and pressed. The must fermented for 20 days in conical stainless steel tanks at temperatures of 82° Fahrenheit (28° centigrade). Delicate extraction techniques were utilized in order to guarantee tannins of high quality and structure. After being run off its skins, the wine went into new oak barrels, where it completed its malolactic fermentation by the end of the year. The wine was bottled on February 13th 2013 after completing its period of oak aging and was then given an additional year of bottle aging before 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 region, 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 Cabernet Franc 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. Mortella is the name of wild myrth, 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 environment, 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.
The nose shows notes of spice and liquorice, while on the palate the Cabernet Sauvignon is particularly potent and rich and the Cabernet Franc surprisingly elegant; together they confer flavors of ripe black fruit together with balsamic sensations.