DOC Maremma Toscana
50% Vermentino, 40% Viognier, 10% Ansonica
The 2014 vintage was distinguished by an unusual climate: a mild winter and a cool summer with frequent rains. These meteorological conditions led to a lengthy growing season and a slower ripening process. September passed with balmy temperatures and positive temperature swings from daytime warmth to evening and nighttime coolness, assisting the accumulation of sugar in the grapes, which reached proper levels of ripeness at harvest time. Picking began, approximately 10 days later than usual with the Viognier in mid-September. The harvest continued with the Vermentino and concluded, finally, with the Ansonica in early October.
The grapes were picked at full aromatic ripeness in order to conserve the fragrance of each individual variety. A small portion of the Viognier and the Ansonica were harvested late to give a greater warmth and ampltiude to the wine. The crop was immediately pressed upon arrival in the cellars. During this soft pressing the must was given a brief period of skin contact, after which it was chilled for 24 hours at 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade) in order to assist a natural settling of impurities. The clean must went into stainless steel fermenting tanks where it fermented at temperatures of 61° Fahrenheit (16° centigrade). A brief aging period on the lees in stainless steel (approximately three months) preceded a further three months of bottle aging before release.
The Le Mortelle estate, once part of a more important property already shown on maps during the reign of Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany in the mid-19th century, 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 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. Mortella is the name of wild myrrh, a shrub which characterizes the coastal area of Tuscany and is the symbol of the estate.
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 intense aromas recall ripe peaches, citrus peel, and candied fruit. The soft flavors, accompanied by a bracing acidity which gives savory mineral touches, show notes of such aromatic herbs as thyme and sage, and the finish and aftertaste are long and persistent.