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 The Masseto estate presents the latest vintage of its second wine, Massetino 2019

A harmonious take on the graceful force of the fruit Massetino 2019, now in its third vintage, born from the selection made for Masseto, with which it shares an underlying identity. Released to market on tiptoes in 2019, this second wine immediately revealed itself as the utmost interpretation of the terroir with a well-defined identity.

Vaunting a harmonious character while remaining profound and powerful, like the land where it comes from, Massetino is a Merlot blend that incorporates a small percentage of Cabernet Franc. “Massetino comes from the careful selection of the estate’s vineyards, which is carried out during the blending stage,”explains Estate Director Axel Heinz. “Our consideration was that the selection of wines that did not end up becoming Masseto could have their own life. A new wine is always a new challenge.”

Massetino 2019 displays the typical traits of a vintage with variable weather conditions, which saw cold, wet spells alternate with long, hot and dry stages. The vine growth was delayed, but it was followed by a hot, sunny summer with next to no rainfall. The precipitation at the end of the summer enabled the Merlot to be harvested at the beginning of September and Cabernet Franc in early October, with a seasonal finish that provided the right conditions for ripening.

The cellar philosophy is to reduce intervention to a bare minimum. The exceptional concentration of the grapes requires no sophisticated winemaking mechanisms; just simple measures. In Massetino, delicate infusion is discerned instead of aggressive extraction. In so doing, the wine displays richness without being heavy. In the cellar, everything has been researched for this very reason: from moving the grapes without using pumps, but by gravity alone, to using vats designed to elicit delicate extraction.

Every parcel of the vineyard is vinified separately with a spontaneous fermentation. The malolactic fermentation takes place in 50% new barriques for 12 months. Lastly, the base wines are blended before being aged for another 3 months in barriques.

Massetino 2019 appears dark and youthful, with perfectly ripe black fruit aromas underlined by notes of new seasoned oak and liquorice. The wine is rich and bodied on the palate, with a refined velvety structure balanced by a frame of refreshing acidity and bold tannins,” describes Axel Heinz, Estate Director.

Masseto 2018: the sublime fragility of the soil and humankind’s intuition

The estate presents Masseto 2018

The elegant and silky texture of a one-of-a-kind wine

It is said that the expectation of a pleasure represents a pleasure in itself, but the peak is the instant in which it is finally reached, when desire is transformed into reality. Finally, after years of refinement, Masseto 2018 is released on the market, with a deep olfactory intensity that flows in the silky texture of this wine.

Humankind, the soil, and the vineyard: these are the three determining elements for the success of this  wine that has established itself as among the most respected in Italy and in the world.

Masseto was born from the intuition of taking a chance on difficult land and seeing its great potential. Estate Director, Axel Heinz, describes it as “an unspoiled, harsh and austere place, that’s not at all easy to work. The conditions are extreme, yet this vineyard never fails to amaze us. It’s truly a magical place where nature makes the most important decisions”.

The will is to interpret the spirit of nature and then let it express itself without limits, because everything revolves around the extraordinary – and at the same time demanding – vineyard. The expert hands of those who love every single plant and know its soul in depth are the ones that lead it. All of this obtains a wine without any coercing, accompanied by actions in the cellar that are as limited as possible in order to obtain its maximum expression.

Masseto 2018 is a wine that perfectly reflects terroir and vintage.

After a season of drought in 2017, winter 2018 seemed to indicate a return to normal, but one of the wettest springs in Masseto’s history, with higher than average temperatures, led to rapid vegetative growth with the risk of diseases. Only the timing of the team made it possible to keep firm control of the vines through the thinning of the shoots and the correct positioning of the foliar apparatus. Thanks to the skillful interplay between shadow and light obtained, both leaves and grapes remained healthy.

The 2018 harvest was the first to find its home entirely in the new cellar dug deep into the blue clay soil on which the vineyard stands, between walls that represent a physical and symbolic tribute to the history of the estate and to the intuition of those who believed in it. The double sorting table enabled the selection of only the most perfect grapes. Fermentation took place in concrete tanks, with the malolactic fermentation beginning in new oak barrels in separate batches for the first 12 months, then blended and left to rest in barrels for a further year.

Masseto 2018 amazes with an infinite salinity that fills each sip. Likewise, there is no sign of excess in the expression of a perfect balance between fullness and harmony that reveals the profound belonging to a terroir with an unmistakable identity.

A symphony of aromatic notes tinged with berries is woven into a refined texture. “Perfectly ripe cherries, plums and spiced new oak. The palate is broad and rich, revealing a refined and silky body derived from the 2018 vintage“, elaborates Axel Heinz, who calls it “a particularly elegant version that combines richness and finesse”.

Soon a new address in Bordeaux for Masseto, Ornellaia, Tenuta Luce and CastelGiocondo

Masseto, Ornellaia, Tenuta Luce and CastelGiocondo are opening a representative office in the city of Bordeaux, aimed at strengthening their worldwide sales network, starting with the French stronghold of fine wines. 

The prestigious Tuscan estates are set to open a representative office in 2022

The first wine estates in Italy to make such an investment.

Masseto, in 2009, was the first Italian wine to be distributed through La Place de Bordeaux. Ornellaia followed suit in 2015. In the wake of their success, in 2019 Tenuta Luce and in 2021 CastelGiocondo Brunello also embraced the international distribution of La Place de Bordeaux. Since 2009, this choice has resulted in ever increasing results. The Négociants boast a centuries-long history of the sale of fine wines at an international level.

“Making top-tier wines is not enough,” explains Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Frescobaldi group. “Knowing how to communicate this quality and choosing the perfect distribution is essential. By considering these years with La Place de Bordeaux as the first step and examining potential sales growth, it now seems logical for us to open a representative office in Bordeaux. Our goal is to strengthen our position by developing a deeper and more integrated relationship with the Négociants, no longer working from a distance, but in close contact with our partners.”

This stimulating challenge has been entrusted to Patrick Lachapèle who will take on the role of Director of the representative office, returning to France after 16 years in Asia where he worked as Asia-Pacific Export Manager for Baron Philippe de Rothschild and then as Director Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and South America for Ornellaia and Tenuta Luce. Patrick will work alongside the commercial directors of the four estates, which will remain individually managed.

The new office will be operational in the first quarter of 2022.

***

Masseto wines are available to all markets through La Place de Bordeaux with the exception of Italy, United States and Canada where Masseto retains direct distribution. Ornellaia wines are available as well through La Place de Bordeaux with the exception of Europe, United States and Canada.

In the case of Tenuta Luce, La Place de Bordeaux holds the distribution in Asia (with the exception of Japan), Africa and Middle East meanwhile CastelGiocondo is available with the Négociants in China only.

THE 2021 HARVEST at MASSETO

A fruitful conclusion to a vintage of extremes

The extraordinary reaction of the vines to climate change and the resilience of great terroir

Every harvest marks a new chapter that elicits new expertise in knowing how to best interpret the vines and their extraordinary ability to react to nature.

The 2021 vintage was rather difficult, with extreme conditions throughout the year as evidence of the climate change that now characterizes the seasonal development.

At Masseto, strength lies in the ability of the vines to react, helped by what Estate Director Axel Heinz calls the “resilience of a great terroir”: “the characteristics of the vines enabled the climatic extremes to be cushioned and channelled, creating conditions that were limiting yet without an excessive stress for the plants. Fine wines derive from these beginnings.”

The hallmark traits of Masseto – soil and microclimate – proved fundamental in these critical conditions. The blue clay, unique to Masseto, was crucial, capable of accumulating water reserves in the depths of the soil and only releasing the amount of water needed to avoid the excessive stress of the vines and overcome the summer dryness. Themicroclimate, with sea breezes and mild temperatures, provided shelter from the spring frost, while in the summer it ensured the ventilation required to withstand the heat.

The best way to understand this complex vintage is the relationship between men and terroir. The synergy between the soil type and the area, in addition to the constant vineyard management and attention to detail, enabled the year’s potential pitfalls to be turned into extraordinary strengths.

The harvest, which went without rain from start to finish, began on 30 August, with the youngest vines and higher, more precocious parcels in Masseto Alto. The Merlot was harvested on five different occasions until mid-September, while the Cabernet Franc was gathered between 15 and 28 September.

Initial impressions would point to a very stylish vintage. As soon as the wines (which are currently showing great potential) have been racked, which is about to finish, they will be moved into barriques for a lengthy period of ageing. The road ahead is long, but Axel Heinz explains his initial impressions: “The dry season concentrated the grapes, which yielded intense wines with great potential. The colours are particularly intense, like the aromas characterised by fully ripened black fruit. In the mouth we find the unmistakable balance between richness and firmness that distinguishes Masseto. The wines develop a rich and concentrated palate, with dense and velvety tannins, as the result of careful and soft extraction, underpinned by striking acidity that is reminiscent of some of the best vintages such as 2006, 2010 and 2016.”

All of these expectations will take two years to reach their conclusion, when the wine will have finished ageing and become ready for bottling. The established practice at Masseto means that cellar intervention is limited to a bare minimum so that the wines find their natural balance between fullness and harmony, which displays their sense of belonging to a terroir with an unmistakable identity. Masseto, as Axel Heinz describes it, is “truly a magical place where nature makes the most important decisions”.

News about the 2021 vintage

2021 brought news to the winery with the arrival of Gaia Cinnirella, who beginning with this harvest became the winemaker at Masseto under the supervision of Axel Heinz. Gaia, formerly Assistant Technical Director and Vineyard Manager at Biondi Santi from 2018 to 2021, is enthusiastic about contributing to the oenological development and stability of a winery like Masseto: “After work placements at leading wineries like Allegrini and Tenuta San Guido, I was able to hone my passion first at Istine and then at Biondi Santi. Now I’m proud to be part of this incredible team and I’m excited to contribute towards making uniquely characterful wines. It’s a dream for those, like me, who love their work and see every experience as an opportunity to grow. The extremely stimulating and ever evolving environment will be a challenge for me, while always looking to the future in the way that a wine like Masseto requires.”

2021 Growing Year in Italy: What to expect

The life-force of the vine vs climate changes

High quality anticipated in the wine-cellar

Harvest is literally upon us with some white grapes already safely in the cellar and several red grape varieties being picked at this very moment. But it’s still too early to draw any definitive conclusions about the 2021 harvest, since producers up and down the peninsula are still relying on predictions. Which, however, are encouragingly positive.

Let’s give a brief overview of the growing season. The weather brought three distinctive phenomena that had critical impacts. A spring freeze plunged temperatures that delayed bud-break and shoot growth by some 10 days, whose effects are still being felt in the current ripening stage, while the south suffered under water deprivation and the north was hit by torrential rains. The common thread that emerged from these challenges, though, was the current outstanding health status and overall quality of the fruit, a situation that augurs well for fine wines from 2021. Delivering the best results seem to have been the most ecologically-sensitive vineyard operations and precision agricultural practices, approaches that protect and express terroir in the face of increasingly threatening climate changes.   

We asked producers from north to south what they thought and how they were managing to transform climate threats into quality outcomes.

NORTH

In Trentino, at the historic San Leonardo wine estate, owner Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga reports that “the year opened cold and very rainy, which tried us no end. Then, in early August, the weather really began to smile on us, and we are continuing even now to enjoy fabulous, sunny days, with significant day-night temperature differentials as wide as 18oC. If September follows the same pattern, we have a realistic hope of bringing in a truly superb harvest.” 

Over in Lombardy, in the Oltrepò Pavese hills, the 200 hectares of Conte Vistarino allow a clear picture of overall prospects for the general area. Ottavia Giorgi enthuses: “We have extreme expectations for this harvest, which promises to be even better than we could imagine.” Brimming groundwater reserves, crisp spring weather, painstaking attention to vine-row vegetation, and a healthy status of the clusters harken back to the 2018 season, while the tannins look to be finer-grained than in preceding years. The white grapes are currently exhibiting outstanding pH and acidities, which bodes well for the sparkling base wines as well. “We are expecting very heightened aromatics and crisp acidities in our Pinot Noir, a gift of those quite wide temperature differentials in the hot summer months.”  

TUSCANY

In the Colli Fiorentini, just outside Florence, at Torre a Cona, Niccolò Rossi di Montelera has expectations for “a good quality vintage but for a crop smaller than in 2019 and 2020. Reflecting this growing season’s characteristics, the harvest will kick off slightly later than in previous vintages, beginning with Merlot in the latter half of September, while Sangiovese and Colorino will wait until the end of the month.” 

At Castello di Brolio, one of Chianti Classico’s iconic estates, Francesco Ricasoli explains that the year has brought a one-two punch of freezes and hot spells. “Still, our white grapes, which were picked already in late August, are superb, in both quality and quantity. We expect to bring in our Sangiovese around mid-September; the crop will be down a bit, but quality definitely up. Cluster size is somewhat small, as in 2017, but they show deeper colour, aromatic intensity, and better concentration.” 

Just a few kilometres away, Giovanni Mazzei underscores that the current season “is yet more proof of our vines’ ability to withstand challenging weather conditions thrown at them.” In particular, in the Siepi zone, “where deep soils and a high percentage of clay help retain much more moisture than other areas, a generous water supply for the roots and wide day-night temperature ranges are ensuring excellent ripeness levels.”    

At Castello di Querceto in Greve in Chianti, the unfavourable weather phenomena reduced the crop load by about 10%. Alessandro François is cautious about making any definitive judgments. While waiting to see what the next few weeks will bring, he says that “quality looks very good, but our Sangiovese growing at 400-520 metres still needs more time.”

The heat spells impacted Gaiole in Chianti, too, but director Luca Vitiello of Bertinga explains that “good canopy management protected the clusters and careful ground-working allowed the vines to recently complete veraison, a bit late perhaps, but with no excessive stress. These are the foundations for an excellent harvest, which we are looking for in the next days of September for the Merlot vineyards and the first half of October for Sangiovese.”  

Moving into Montalcino, Emilia Nardi, owner of Tenute Silvio Nardi, tells us that “thanks to our 2020 post-harvest operations, the vines enjoyed a plentiful supply of water, which allowed them to handle this season’s lack of it. Right now, the fruit shows surprisingly good balance and the vines good canopy development.”

Heading towards the Tuscan coast, where the vineyards of the Tenuta di Ghizzano lie in the Pisan hills, Ginevra Venerosi Pesciolini declares herself satisfied, since “the white grape varieties are in very good shape indeed. For some of the reds, however, the situation is somewhat more complicated. The Merlot is already in the cellar, and the quality seems quite high, but we’re hoping for a bit more rain, which would give our Sangiovese perfect phenolic ripeness.” Rains have already been of providential help this year, and “our clay-rich soils were able to absorb the rains we saw in May, which helped the vines cope with the summer drought.”   

In Riparbella, the just-emerging Colline Albelle operation uses one of its tools, dry-farming, to prevent heat stress. Winery director and winemaker Julian Renaud explains that “we also mow the cover-crop in mid-May, leaving everything on the ground, we keep canes short to prevent evapo-transpiration, do no leaf-pulling, and we utilise biodynamic preparations. All that helps us maintain optimal balance in the vineyards and a very gradual ripening process. This year, we expect about a 15-day delay in starting our harvest.” 

Along the same coast, in Bolgheri, Ornellaia director Axel Heinz, notes that its unique configuration of quite deep soils with high percentages of clay and limestone encourages the vine roots to go deep in search of water, which helps them resist the long stretches of dryness here. In addition, “Our sunny, dry conditions help the early-developing white varieties to fully ripen.” And finally, a drop in temperatures created “ideal conditions for the final stage of ripening, thus giving the red varieties all the time they needed to reach perfect ripeness.”

In the Maremma, the Fattoria Le Pupille team can draw a sigh of relief at what promises at this moment to be a great vintage. “The rains in mid-July gave us a welcome boost, relieving the heat stress and bringing the growing year to a blessed close.” A stance of hope, therefore, from Ettore Rizzi, estate agronomist and oenologist of the estate founded by Elisabetta Geppetti.

Also in the Maremma is Castello di Vicarello, where the hillslope position of the vineyards was proof against the spring freezes, and in the summer ensured them cool night-time temperatures that warded off heat stress. Brando Baccheschi Berti evinces pronounced satisfaction over fruit quality: “Wonderful acidities and full berries, proof that our old, deep-rooted vines are holding up well. My impression is that it’s going to be a beautiful vintage.” 

In the Val d’Orcia, finally, with benchmark operation Tenuta di Trinoro, a textbook-perfect vintage is expected. Here, too, the difficult weather brought challenges, but director Calogero Portannese expresses strong confidence in those “significant day-night temperature variations, which encouraged impressively-high quality in the fruit. Still, the harvest is a ways off yet, and we have to wait to see what autumn will finally bring us.”  

SICILY and SARDINIA

Over the sea in Sardinia’s Gallura district, Massimo Ruggero, managing director of Siddùra, explains that the area did experience the spring freezes, but the impact was not severe, “thanks to our particular climate here in this valley, our crop was down just slightly compared to the previous year. Overall grape health is good, and the final crop should almost equal that of 2020.” 

Let’s conclude our journey in Sicily. Mount Etna suffered a torrid, dry summer, and Vincenzo Lo Mauro, director of Passopisciaro, helped the vines by supplying night-time emergency irrigation. “The Chardonnay harvest started early, right after mid-August. The grapes were in wonderful condition, heathy and aromatic, and they’ll give us a very intense, firm-structured wine. Regarding the reds, we’re hoping the heat will drop and that we’ll receive some rainfall, which will help them get to that perfect point of ripeness.”

And now, there’s nothing we can do but wait.

Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2019

Style and identity in the name of Bolgheri, released to market on 1 September

Ornellaia presents the 2019 vintage of Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia, produced by the prestigious Bolgheri estate as an expression of the dedication in the vineyard, with a careful attention to every single detail in the cellar.

The precious cuvée of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot blends the individual traits of each varietal in a complex synergy of aromas. Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia has honed its identity year after year and is now an important and enjoyable expression of the appellation.

“Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2019 is a product of the attention paid to every stage in the winemaking, which enabled us to maximize the aromatic potential of the grapes,” explains Axel Heinz, Estate Director. “The result is a smooth and silky wine with elegant tannins and a lengthy, savoury finish.”

The wine stands out for its immediacy and vivacity, without ever losing sight of the estate style. Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia also reveals the character of the vintage a few months prior to the release of its elder sibling, Ornellaia.

The 2019 vintage was distinguished by variable weather conditions, alternating between cold spells and extended hot and dry periods. Following a winter within seasonal averages, budbreak occurred in the first week in April, but the cold, rainy conditions throughout April and May delayed the flowering. The summer proved to be hot and sunny with above-average temperatures and a lack of precipitation. The rainfall towards the end of July returned temperatures to the seasonal norm, creating optimal conditions for ripening the grapes.

The change between sunny and wet spells accelerated the ripening and especially the development of the skins. Softer and more permeable than usual, the grape skins guaranteed optimal colour and tannin extraction. Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia 2019 is currently characterised by “fresh notes of ripe red fruit, accompanied by a lively balsamic vein and the allure of cypress berries and eucalyptus,” comments Ornellaia’s winemaker, Olga Fusari.

The 2019 harvest of the red grapes started on 5 September before continuing into the first week in October, due to the cool temperatures and night breeze ensured by the closeness to the coast. The grapes, which were gathered by hand, underwent further culling on a double selection table in the cellar. In addition to manual selection, optical selection was also introduced in 2016, which ensures the perfection of every single grape after being destemmed. 

Every variety and parcel is vinified separately. The malolactic fermentation begins in steel and is completed in barriques where the wine is left to age for about 15 months. The wines are blended after 12 months in the barriques, allowing the individual varietals to give their maximum contribution to the expression of the vintage and the appellation. 

The impressive synergy between the verticality and freshness of the Cabernets, the rounder and deeper character of the Merlot and the body of the Petit Verdot make “Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia” a complex wine with a typical Bolgheri identity, elegance and considerable ageing potential.

Bolgheri: the harvest begins at Ornellaia

Wine lovers can expect a characterful and stylish vintage.

Just one game that’s played once a year, the strength of a team that loves their land and deeply cares about every single detail to achieve the epitome of elegance… these are the requirements to begin the “2021 Harvest”.

Midsummer has passed, the holidays are over and nature is already calling growers back to the vines. In 2021, the growth of the vineyards was delayed by a rather cool spring, which slowed the budbreak before a summer that proved hot and very dry.

The lack of rainfall right up to the harvest is reminiscent of classic Bolgheri vintages such as 2016 and 2015, which both involved long, dry spells of drought. The unique, local soil composition, profound with high percentages of limestone and clay, enables the roots of the vines to delve into the deepest layers in search of water, with the aim of withstanding extended periods of drought.

“The sunny and dry spell helped the white grapes to ripen in the earlier vineyards,” comments Estate Director, Axel Heinz. “Over the next few days, much-welcome lower temperatures are expected, which will create the perfect conditions to conclude the ripening and to harvest the Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, which is likely to take place during the week of 23 August.”

In the meantime, the 2021 harvest began at Ornellaia on 18 August with the harvest of the first few bunches of the estate’s Sauvignon Blanc. A little more patience is required for the red grapes: another two weeks are needed before the harvest can commence.

’20 anni’ Passopisciaro celebrates two decades on Etna with a one-of-a-kind wine

This year, Passopisciaro, the Mount Etna producer that launched that area’s wine renaissance, is celebrating the 20th year since its first harvest with a special-edition magnum of Nerello Mascalese, for collectors and connoisseurs of rare, one-of-a-kind wines.

Falling under the fascination of these black, volcanic-sand soils and intuiting, as early as the start of the millennium, their superb potential, Andrea Franchetti bottled his first Passorosso (then called Passopisciaro) in 2001, a blend of lots from a number of parcels of old vines.

Franchetti won appreciation for first understanding—and introducing—the so-called Contradas, districts on the mountain, as true crus, then solidified his role as a benchmark by producing five of these exquisitely terroir wines. The value of that initiative was underscored and broadened by his creation in 2007 of the “Contrade dell’Etna” annual wine appointment. Etna’s vocation for high-quality viticulture soon became recognised throughout the world, as did its powerfully magnetic attraction.

Today, Etna no longer needs an introduction. Its contradas offer fascinating readings of the volcano’s historic eruptions and imprint their individual wines with strong personalities. To celebrate this intriguing land, an integral part of one of the world’s most active volcanos, Passopisciaro has bottled a magisterial cuvée of the finest lots from all the estate vineyards, a shimmering red quintessence produced in only 1,550 magnums. The label is spare and minimal, bearing the name “20 anni” (20 years), the winery logo, and the personal signature Franchetti on a white background. 20 anni is additionally unique in that it was produced solely in 2019.

20 anni crowns two decades of achievements on Mt. Etna, the distillation of intuitions, passion, expertise, and experience. Says Andrea Franchetti, “I wanted to create a cuvée of Nerello Mascalese from all the contradas of Passopisciaro as an homage to this magnificent earth, to the years that have passed, and to the future that awaits us.”

The 2019 growing season was ushered in by a capricious spring, which brought light freezes that set back vine growth and resulted in looser than normal clusters. By harvest, though, the grapes

had achieved perfect balance between phenolic and physical ripeness, which yielded “wines with supple fruit and superb linearity” and well-calibrated alcohols. 

20 anni brings together the seductive spiciness of Sciaranuova, the firm structure of Guardiola, the delicate florality of Rampante, the succulent red berryfruit of Porcaria, and the pungent vegetal notes of Chiappemacine, crafting an exquisite embodiment of the Passopisciaro terroir.

Franchetti goes back in his mind to his initial encounter with Etna: “My first impressions when I arrived, in winter, were bleak. It seemed as though the volcano had been abandoned. Wineries were scattered loosely and in disorder over its slopes, amidst untended brush and dry-stone walls that disappeared up the mountain. The idea of restoring those exposed vineyards so high up there seemed absurd. And at that very moment, Etna erupted at the summit. On the other hand, being up there so high attracted me.”

Today, those slopes vaunt a geometrical garden of vineyards, and their vines are major protagonists in a history with many pages yet to be written. 

The Estate. Passopisciaro practices a precision viticulture obsessively respectful of nature, relying on 26 hectares of vineyards distributed over the north flank of Etna; most are planted to Nerello Mascalese, often un-grafted vines 80-100 years old, but there are Petit Verdot, Cesanese di Affile, and Chardonnay as well. In addition to Passorosso, Passobianco and the contrada crus, Passopisciaro’s portfolio boasts the prestigious Franchetti cuvée, composed of Petit Verdot and Cesanese d’Affile.

Andrea Franchetti also owns Tenuta di Trinoro, in Sarteano in Tuscany’s magnificent Val d’Orcia, famous for its legendary Bordeaux blend named after the estate.

DURELLA SPARKLING, LIKE A GOOD MUSIC

The Durella, an ancient vineyard, is said to date back to 1200.

It belongs to the Veronese Prealps and is best expressed and enhanced by the classic method. A thick skin, an important acidity at times almost angular.

With its wild and vigorous, exuberant and dynamic nature, does it make us think of something?

More than the description of a wine it would seem that of a music!

Music and wine. Wine and music, an ancient combination, an ancestral link.

“Let’s free in the happy glasses”, from Giuseppe Verdi’s Traviata, “But how beautiful wine is ….” by Piero Ciampi.

A powerful bond, a perfect match, even if risky, helps us to enter into what the wine wants to tell us!

Each person has their own music, each wine has its own song and this can influence their perception, taste, memory, mood.

And if Durella were music, what song would it be?

A symphony n.41 by Mozart? With harmonious and balanced proportions in perfect Mozartian style and contrasts between slow movements and sequences of timbral oppositions.

What’s love go to do with it by Tina Turner? Iconic, physical, logical! Sparkling and wild, Make my pulse react!

Bandiera Bianca, by Franco Battiato? Political, revealing, who aims at spiritual development, with a solid rhythm and a decisive and energetic attitude.

Stop and listen, three music and three different shades, tasting Durello Lessini sparkling classic method, because Durella is like good music!

Sanna Sebastiano

Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2019

All the elegance of the Mediterranean

Upbeat and generous is how Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2019 makes an appearance after a year in the cellar divided between wood, concrete and steel and 12 months bottle ageing. Predominantly Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of Vermentino and Verdicchio, this Ornellaia white wine is an elegant expression of the care and style maintained by the estate. The grapes grow in small parcels along the Tuscan coast surrounded by Mediterranean shrub, gravel lanes and maritime pines.

“Poggio alle Gazze 2019 is the result of a late harvest,” winemaker Olga Fusari comments. “The extended harvest times proved favourable to the aromatic expression of the wine, which we find in the intense notes of citrus and exotic fruit accompanied by scent of freshly mowed grass and asparagus. The palate is vibrant and refreshing with a lingering mineral finish.”

2019 was characterised by highly variable conditions, which alternated periods of cold and rain with bouts of drought and heat, resulting in a ten-day delay in the budbreak. Growth resumed in June after long, sunny days. The weather remained fine for the rest of the summer, with the exception of two days of rain in late July, which restored the temperatures to the seasonal average and provided perfect conditions for the gradual and full ripening of the bunches. The Sauvignon Blanc harvest began on 19th of August and continued until the first days of September, while the Vermentino and Verdicchio, as later ripening varieties, reached peak maturity in mid-September.

The care taken with the grapes and their growth in the vineyard before cellaring reflect a deep respect for the ecosystem aimed at maintaining its stability, nurturing the integrity of the soil and the self-regulation of the vines. Everything at Ornellaia is done with attention and awareness centred on sustainability, which includes vineyard management at nature’s pace and the wellbeing of the winery’s employees.

Combined with the coastal microclimate, these elements result in the uniquely personable wines produced at Ornellaia: a chorus of multiple voices that convey the beauty, influence of the sea and light. The winemaking processes pay the utmost respect to the grapes and the result is always beguiling. “Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia owes its elegant Mediterranean style to the unique microclimate that we have here at Ornellaia,” Estate Director Axel Heinz explains. “This authentic gift of nature enables us to craft a wine that vaunts a sumptuous body with ripe, fruity notes in a style of great finesse, which is the hallmark of Ornellaia.”

After this long journey from vineyard to bottle, the 2019 vintage will occupy centre stage in a new project in the finest restaurants along the Italian coast. For “Ambasciatori di Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia” (Ambassadors of Poggio alle Gazze), 10 chefs will devise a special dish to showcase the personality of the wine. The restaurants will include a vertical tasting of four vintages of Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia on the wine list and an especially paired recipe on the menu.

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