Wine: Le Difese
Variety composition: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon 45% Sangiovese.
Denomination: Tuscany Typical Geographical Indication.
Alcoholic strength: 14% vol.
Soil: the soils on which the vineyards stand have varied and composite morphological characteristics with a strong presence of limestone areas, rich in Alberese and Gabbro, as well as stones and pebbles and partially clay.
Altitude: 100-300 m a.s.l.
Training system: spurred cordon.
Vines density per hectare: from 5,500 to 6,250.
Harvest: strictly by hand, it began on September 5th for the Cabernet Sauvignon and was completed at the end of the month with the Sangiovese.
Climatic trend and characteristics of the vintage: autumn and early winter were particularly humid, with persistent rains and mild temperatures. From the second week of February the cold became more intense with temperatures often below 0°C. Spring started quite early, although conditioned by strong sea winds and some rain, but the mild temperatures triggered the budding of the early varieties. At the end of March a disturbance from the Atlantic caused a sharp drop in temperatures and some night frosts. Luckily, this did not create excessive damage. On the contrary, it enabled the secondary buds to come forward, resulting in a lower production and enhanced quality and concentration of fruit. The continuation of spring was optimal with normal temperatures and sporadic rains that enriched the water reserves of the soils. From mid-June, except for an isolated rain, the climate stabilized with sunny and hot days with temperatures sometimes above the seasonal average and peaks of 31-32 ° C. Except for the first ten days of July, the remaining summer period was very hot with no rain. Thanks to the good water availability of the soils and the reduced production per plant, the latter did not suffer from any stress. The harvest ended about 7-8 days early due to the advanced state of ripeness and although the quality was excellent the quantities were lower than expected. In general of about -12% for Cabernet Sauvignon and -15% for Sangiovese.
The grapes arrived in the cellar with a phenolic ripeness well above any positive expectation. A vintage that, if in some respects it might have appeared similar to 2018, actually achieved superior results in terms of effective and complete phenolic maturity. Acidity and PH in perfect balance and an important anthocyanin structure (average extract around 32 mg / l) and excellent pigmentation of the grapes and consequently of the musts. Imposing but not intrusive structure on the palate, good acidity and density of the wine combined with soft tannins and a good aromatic component, identify this vintage of Le Difese very well.
Harvest period: The harvest, carried out by hand, began on September 5th for the Cabernet Sauvignon and was completed at the end of the month with the Sangiovese.
Winemaking notes: Careful selection of the bunches by hand. Soft destemming of the grapes. Primary fermentation in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature (27-28 ° C). Maceration on the skins for 13-15 days for Cabernet S. and for about 14-18 days for Sangiovese, with successive stages of pumping over and frequent delestage to encourage aromatic extraction and soften the tannins. Malo-lactic fermentation was carried out in steel and concluded towards the end of November.
Refinement: At the end of the malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged for about 8 months in French oak barrels and, to a small extent American, second and third passage (barriques used for Guidalberto).
Upon visual examination in the glass, the sample is limpid, with a lively, consistent ruby red color.
On the nose it shows a bouquet of aromas that is quite complex. There are notes of wildflowers reminiscent of violet, hints of small red berries such as blueberry and currant, a note of morello cherry. Hints of dark tropical spices and scents of Mediterranean scrub complete the olfactory range.
The sip is harmonious, with a well-smoothed tannin and a good persistence on the nose. A sample ready to be tasted and appreciated, but with the possibility of further evolution. With a further refinement of two or three years, it will give us perfect harmony.
It is recommended in combination with traditional Tuscan grilled dishes.
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