Rosso di Montepulciano DOC
85% Prugnolo Gentile, 15% Merlot and other complementary red grapes
A vintage characterized by a lack of rainfall during the early autumn, which led to exceptionally small berries and a very high ratio of skin to juice in the bunches which were harvested. Another characteristic of the vintage was a not particularly high sugar concentration in the berries themselves. The grapes, in fact, after the rains of late August began to rapidly absorb water and the berries, after swelling, increased in weight but with an evident dilution of the sugar content. During the weeks which followed, sugar accumulation increased but without reaching the elevated levels characteristic of hot vintages. These two phenomenon created wines rich in substance, in extract and polyphenols, but quite balanced as well. The small size of the berries and bunches led to a reduction in the amount of juice produced and, likewise, in production per vine. Harvesting began in mid-September and concluded during the first week of October.
The harvesting of the grapes took place towards the end of September. The heat which characterized the 2012 vintage created no problems for the ripening of the Sangiovese; as a late-maturing variety, it benefitted from September rains and lower September temperatures. After picking, the grapes were destemmed, softly pressed, and then fermented in stainless steel tanks for approximately ten days. Aging took place in large oak casks, where the wine went through the malolactic fermentation, and lasted four months. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
The La Braccesca farm, which extends extends over a total surface area of 420 hectares (approximately 1037 acres), is composed of two separate blocks: the historic nucleus of the property near Montepulciano, with 103 hectares (some 254 acres) of vineyards, and a second block, with 162 hectares (approximately 400 acres) of vineyards, at the foot of the hills of Cortona. The first vintage of the La Braccesca Rosso di Montepulciano was the 1992. The wine takes its name from Sabatino Lulli, known as “Sabazio”, a monk at the abbey of Montepulciano who was the first, in the Middle Ages, to give precise indications as to how to ferment the grapes grown in the zone.
A brilliant ruby red, the 2011 Sabazio shows intensely floral aromas along with notes of fresh fruit. The palate, after an opening with is soft and ample, offers sensations of berry fruit along a good mineral crispness, much freshness and length, and a savory acidity which completes the flavor sensations.