Vermentino, Bolgheri DOC
Early 2012 was characterized by rather cold temperatures and by snow in February, an unusual phenomenon in the zone. Bud burst occurred at a normal time, nonetheless, even if the number of buds was smaller than usual. Late spring and early summer were very hot and dry; the grape berries, consequently, were small and the number of bunches limited; overall production was 20% less than normal levels. Quality, instead, was better than one might expect from such a hot vintage: savory acidity and excellent fruit and, above all, great balance. The vintage showed, once again, that Bolgheri can produce fine wine even in hot years. The morphology of the territory and the nearby presence of the sea mitigate torrid summer temperatures and avoid vine stress which could compromise balance and ripening.
The Vermentino harvested in October enjoyed a month of lovely temperature swings from daytime heat to nighttime coolness and dry weather as well. These conditions led to concentrated and aromatic grapes which nonetheless conserved much refreshing acidity.
The grapes are sourced from historic vineyard know as Camillo. The crop, entirely hand-picked, was harvested in two separate passages through the vineyard, one in mid-September, the other, almost a month later, on October 12th. After destemming and a soft pressing, the must was chilled for 24 hours to assist a static settling of impurities and then fermented in stainless steel tanks at temperatures kept constantly to a maximum of 61° Fahrenheit (16°centigrade). A small amount of must from the first harvest was added for additional acidity and freshness, while 10% of the resulting wine was aged in small oak barrels used once previously.
The wine was aged for three months on its fine lees, which were periodically stirred. In January the part in barrels was blended in and the finished wine was bottled in mid-March.
Camillo is the name of the new Vermentino cru. It is a selection of the finest grapes of the vineyard of the same name, one of the parcels of the Guado al Tasso estate.
The estate is located some 80 kilometers (50 miles) to the southwest of Florence, near the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri. The property extends over a surface area of approximately 1000 hectares (2500 acres) from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the hills of the interior. In addition to the grape vineyards, the principal crop, there are also wheat, corn, and sunflower fields in addition to olive groves.
Straw yellow in color with light golden highlights, the wine shows complex aromas of candied citron and other candied fruits and honey along with floral notes. The flavors are tasty and persistent, full but with vibrant mineral notes which add balance and drinking pleasure.
It is a wine which will significantly improve with bottle age.