DOC Maremma Toscana
Vermentino, Viogner, and Ansonica
The winter of 2010-2011 was characterized by a certain rainfall and by temperatures which were not particularly cold for the season, conditions which led to a bud break in early April. Spring weather was entirely normal, assuring, during the second week of May, a positive flowering and subsequent bud set. Cooler temperatures then followed until the end of July, assisting in an excellent development of vine vegetation.
Temperatures then rose substantially and continued to be high during the entire month of August; in this period the vines were irrigated during the night to maintain a correct balance in the vineyard vegetation and avoid vine stress. Temperature swings between daytime heat and evening and nighttime coolness, typical of this part of the growing season, increased during the first part of September, and this drop in temperature favored a punctual close to the ripening cycle. The harvest began with the Viognier grapes in early September and concluded with the Ansonica in early October.
The grapes were harvested when the aromas were fully developed in order to preserve the fragrance of each individual grape variety. A small part of the Viognier and Ansonica crop, instead, was picked at late-harvest ripeness levels to give warmer and ampler notes.
The grape, upon their arrival in the cellars, were destemmed and immediately pressed. During the soft pressing the must underwent a brief (two hour) maceration on the skins, after which its temperature was lowered to 10° centigrade (50° Fahrenheit) in order to favor a natural settling of the impurities. The limpid must then went into stainless steel fermenting tanks, where it fermented at a temperature of 16° centigrade (61° Fahrenheit). The wine was then aged on its lees in stainless steel tanks before bottling. Alcohol: 12.5% Vol.
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), 400 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.
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 wine shows intense aromas which recall yellow peaches along with spices and Mediterranean aromatic herbs. The flavors open with much softness, supported by a bracing acidity, giving a wine which is both savory and of good length.