DOC Maremma Toscana
50% Vermentino, 35% Viognier, 15% Ansonica
The 2012 vintage, in this part of Tuscany, was, after 2003, one of the driest of the last 20 years. Only by regulating the production per vine to very low levels and occasionally irrigating at opportune moments was it possible to achieve a certain balance in the vineyard and ripen the grapes properly.
Despite the dry spell, temperatures were not torrid during the summer, and constant breezes from the sea assured good circulation of air and low humidity in the vineyard.
Picking began with the Viognier on August 25th, proceeded with the Vermentino in mid-September, and concluded with the Ansonica at the end of September.
The grapes were picked at full aromatic ripeness in order to conserve the fragrance of the individual grape varieties. A small portion of the Viognier and Ansonica crop was harvested late to add warmer and riper notes.
The grapes were immediately given a soft pressing and macerated on their skins for two hours; the must was then chilled to 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade) for 24 hours to assist a natural static settling of impurities. It was racked into stainless steel tanks and fermented at 61° Fahrenheit (16° centigrade). A short aging on the fine lees concluded operations.
The Le Mortelle estate is located in the heart of the lower Tuscan Maremma, in the province of Grosseto at approximately five miles from 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 Viogner. The property 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.
A straw yellow in color, the wine is pleasurably fruity in aroma, intense, and ripe, floral and with notes of candied fruit and citrus rind. On the palate it is tasty and balanced, soft in texture on the attack, crisp and vibrant on the finish and aftertaste.