DOC Maremma Toscana
80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2012 vintage was characterized by a mild climate and scarce rainfall. Spring was somewhat cool and dry, causing a slight delay in the growth and development of the vegetation. The month of July was marked by a warm, dry climate which required careful use of irrigation to keep the vines in proper balance and avoid stress. During the ripening of the crop in the months of August and September constant sea breezes assured a proper flow of air around the grape bunches and gave the Cabernet freshness and elegance. Picking began during the second week of September and terminated in early October.
The grapes, selected with care and picked by hand into small packing cases, were selected a second time on sorting tables in the cellar before being destemmed and lightly pressed. The fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at a temperature of 82° Fahrenheit (28° centigrade), and the period of skin contact lasted a total of 20 days during which soft extraction techniques assured both structure and supple tannins. After being run off its skins, the wine went into French oak barrels (50% new) where it then went through a complete malolactic fermentation. A 16 month period of oak aging in barrel preceded bottling.
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 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 aromas of spice and liquorice well amalgamated with balsamic notes and sensations of toasted oak. The palate is ample and enveloping, elegant, and characterized by an attractive length and persistence.