DOC Maremma Toscana
Vermentino, Viognier, Ansonica
The 2016 vintage was characterized by a rather dry winter and by a mild spring, both followed by a summer season with temperature peaks during the months of July and August. The bud break and flowering took place slightly in advance of normal seasonal averages, while the bud set was right on schedule. Light rains in September and the subsequent lowering of temperatures allowed the grapes to complete the ripening process in excellent meteorological conditions, giving our white wines a surprising freshness. The picking began in late August with the Viognier and terminated with the Ansonica at the end of September.
The individual grape varieties were fermented separately, and a small part of the Ansonica crop was harvested late in the season to give the wine a certain creaminess of texture and riper notes. On arrival in the cellar the grapes were softly pressed and then chilled for 24 hours to a temperature of 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade) to assist a natural static settling of impurities. The clean must was racked into stainless steel tanks, where it fermented at a temperature held to a maximum of 61° Fahrenheit (16° centigrade). The wine was given a brief three month aging period on its lees in stainless steel before 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 surroundings, 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 impact on the nose is intense and is characterized by a very pleasurable bouquet. The aromatic complexity of this wine includes notes of ripe pear and pineapple fruit supplemented by sensations of linden tree blossoms and orange flowers. The palate is vibrant and balanced and closes with a mineral finish and an aftertaste of candied citrus fruit and lemons.