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Credits: © Piero Pardini – The Wolf Post – TUSCANY – ITALY
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: the vintage 2021 was a good, although quantities were limited. After a somewhat rainy autumn with mild temperatures, the winter was instead very harsh, especially due to the arrival of “Burian”, a polar disturbance which often caused temperatures to drop below zero. A favourable situation that allowed a good vegetative stop of the vines and helped to naturally eliminate most of the insects harmful to the vine.
However, after a first timid beginning of spring which occurred towards the end of March, with a rise in temperatures that had caused the buds of the more premature vines to swell (such as Sangiovese and Merlot), a disturbance of cold air of Atlantic origin brought intense cold with temperatures close to zero degrees. This condition, although it lasted just for a couple of days, compromised some primary buds of the early vines causing a loss of production. The continuation of spring was somewhat rainy until mid-May when the heat and the beautiful sunny days took over. The month of June was fairly regular while July was hot and dry. The high temperatures forced them to intervene with kaolin to reduce leaf temperatures and avoid stress to the plants. August continued with dry heat but fortunately on August 16th, a Balkan disturbance brought a few days of rain and brought temperatures back to the seasonal norm. This change was entirely providential, allowing not only the vines to recover but also to activate the phenolic ripening of the grapes well. The ripening was perfect and the harvest was able to take place calmly, without haste and only during the coolest times of the day. The hand-picked grapes reached a perfect ripeness without sugary excesses, with a beautiful pulp and well lignified pips. They were brought to the cellar in excellent quality conditions, well above any positive expectation. Respectable acidity and PH and a beautiful balance of musts that are well structured but harmonious and fruity. Enveloping wines with a non-invasive structure, a good balance in terms of acidity and density of the wine, combined with soft and well-integrated tannins. Beautiful spiciness.
Harvest period: the harvest, carried out by hand, began on September 7th for the Sangiovese and for the Cabernet Sauvignon September 20th. Harvest ended on October 2nd.
Winemaking notes: careful hand selection of the bunches by hand during harvest. Subsequent selection of the grapes in the cellar on a sorting table. Very soft crushing-destemming of the grapes to avoid improper transfer of tannins. Primary fermentation in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature (26-27°C). Maceration on the skins for 14-15 days for Cabernet S. and for about 12-13 days for Sangiovese, with subsequent stages of pumping over and delestage to limit the aromatic loss of musts and encourage the extraction of gentle tannins. Malo-lactic fermentation was carried out in steel and concluded at 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). Subsequent storage in steel vats at a controlled temperature of 3-4 ° C to give tartaric stability before bottling.
At sight the sample is limpid, with a lively, consistent ruby red colour.
On the olfactory examination it opens with a wide and complex range of scents, very fine. It opens with hints of freshly mown red wildflowers, followed by intense fruity notes of blackberry, hard cherry and currant. The range of perfumes is completed by a delicate note of aromatic herbs from the Mediterranean scrub and a nuance of powdered chocolate.
The sip is balanced, with a well-smoothed and linear tannin. Good aromatic taste persistence, which gives an aftertaste of spices and fruit.
A wine of great versatility, an expression of the territory and of the company’s production style.
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Società Agricola C.I.T.A.I. S.p.A.
Loc. Capanne, n. 27
57022 Bolgheri – Livorno
Phone +39 0565 762003