Mezzo Braccio

The Wine

Rheine Riesling develops a unique expression on the Monteloro estate producing pleasing wines with a distinct character. The vines thrive on calcareous clay soils rich in rocky deposits for wines with great complexity. The name “Mezzobraccio” comes from an old Florentine unit of measurement used in rural areas for small parcels of land and the term was coined from the better-known unit of measure the “Florentine Braccio” (Florentine arm).

Mezzo Braccio

The Wine

Rheine Riesling develops a unique expression on the Monteloro estate producing pleasing wines with a distinct character. The vines thrive on calcareous clay soils rich in rocky deposits for wines with great complexity. The name “Mezzobraccio” comes from an old Florentine unit of measurement used in rural areas for small parcels of land and the term was coined from the better-known unit of measure the “Florentine Braccio” (Florentine arm).

Mezzo Braccio

The 2018 growing season began with normal climatic conditions defined by temperatures and precipitation in line with seasonal averages. Spring weather was mild, but the month of May brought heavy rain showers. Hot summer temperatures were mitigated by intermittent rainfall between mid-July and August that guaranteed regular cluster growth and balanced vine development. The month of September was dry and cool allowing for optimal ripening of Riesling berries. Grapes for Mezzo Braccio were hand harvested starting mid-September in areas where vine growth was vigorous preserving acidity and minerality; and was completed at the beginning of October with slightly over-ripe berries to give the wine higher sugar concentration and greater aromatic qualities.  

Grapes were destemmed and gently pressed to extract the juice as delicately as possible. Alcoholic fermentation was performed separately for each individual vineyard block in stainless steel vats at temperatures that did not exceed 16 °C (60.8 °F). The wine was then left to age on the lees and was kept at a controlled temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) up until bottling that took place mid-June 2019. Mezzo Braccio aged in the bottle for an additional 8 months.  

The Monteloro estate is situated at the foothills of the Apennine chain at the gates of the city of Florence at an average altitude of 1650 feet (500 meters). It extends over close to 1500 acres (450 hectares), more than 230 of which are planted to vineyards. It is a unique area for the cultivation of Riesling, distinguished as it is by a cool climate during the entire year and mineral-rich soils. It is, in Tuscany, an ideal terroir for the cultivation of aromatic white grape varieties. Monteloro, in the past, was an area once inhabited by aristocratic Florentine families such as those of Beatrice Portinari and Dante Alighieri who passed hot summer months here in their manoir houses. It has been recounted, in fact, that this landscape of woods and narrow white country lanes was the inspiration of Dante’s voyage in the “Divine Comedy”. Homage to this tale is rendered in the creature of fantasy, the body of a triton intertwined with the wings of a dragon which form the “M” of the Monteloro estate’s name. The Mezzo Braccio (“half an arm”) name derives from a centuries-old Florentine unit of measurement once used in rural areas for the small parcels of land divided from the better known Braccio Fiorentino (“Florentine arm”). The wine has been produced ever since the 2007 vintage.

Mezzo Braccio 2018 is straw yellow in color. Floral aromas on the nose are reminiscent of broom flowers and geraniums merging with fruity notes of apricots, pears, peaches in syrup and candied fruit that shape its complex bouquet. Its full-bodied, soft palate is sustained by distinctive mineral notes.      

Tenuta Monteloro

Tenuta Monteloro

The Monteloro estate is located near Florence, just behind Fiesole on the foothills of the Apennine mountain range at an altitude of 500 meters (1640 feet) above sea level. The property extends over 600 hectares (1500 acres) with 94 planted hectares (232 acres). This is a unique area in Tuscany; an ideal terroir for producing white wines in particular Riesling and Pinot Bianco. The vineyards enjoy a year round cool climate on mineral rich soils. At one time, Monteloro was home to aristocratic Florentine families, such as Beatrice Portinari and Dante Alighieri, who spent summers in the countryside vacationing in their country manor homes. According to legend, this unique countryside of forests and narrow white country trails was the inspiration for Dante in his travels in the Divine Comedy. Fantastic mythological creatures possessing a triton’s body and dragon’s wings seem to pay their respects to the territory’s legacy and form the letter “M”, logo of the Monteloro estate.

Soil

Soil

Clay soils, tending towards calcareous with notable presence of very fine gravel.

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