Appodiato di Montepulciano – Vigneto St. Ercolano – Vino Nobile di Montepulciano D.O.C.G. 2001

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Vineyard location

Southern exposure on a gently sloping hillside.

Vineyard age

Planted in 1995 at a density of 2.80×0.8 meters (-9×3 ft), equivalent to 4,464 vines/ha (1,860/ac).

Trellising method

Trained to a bilateral cordon with vertical shoot positioning.

Grapes

Sangiovese Clone A548 85%, Cabernet Sauvignon clone CL15 and Merlot of unknown clonal origin 15%, all on 420A rootstock.

Soil

Sandy clay with limestone from the Pliocene era (6 million years ago).

The 2001 Vintage

Winter and the first part of Spring were very rainy. Mild April temperatures were interrupted by a frost that, in effect, drastically reduced yields. A dry, warm Summer was followed by light, beneficial rains during the first decade of September that fostered an optimal ripeness of the grapes. Harvest quantities were much below average, but late ripening varieties, like Sangiovese, developed a high concentration of polyphenols and alcohol.

Harvest

September 25th, with overripe Merlot grapes in excellent conditions.

Grape must at harvest

Sugar 24.30%, total acidity 6.05 per thousand, ph 3.31.

Vinification

Small lot fermentation at 25-30°C (77-86°F) using indigenous (wild) yeast in small cement vats. Fifteen day maceration with frequent aerations, pump-overs and punch-downs of the cap for optimum polyphenol extraction.

Malolactic fermentation

Started during the primary fermentation it was finished a few days after being drawn off the lees.

Aging

Placed in new French and American oak barrels on March 3rd, 2002 it was taken out to settle in stainless steel tanks at the end of April 2003.

Bottling

To protect the vineyard’s character this wine was racked then bottled unfiltered on May 5th, 2003.

Production

6,730 bottles.

Bottle age

In our temperature controlled cellar for 5 years. Released April 2008.

Color

Dark, deep, blackish-ruby hue.

Bouquet

Bold and intense, with black currants, licorice, black pepper and a hint of vanilla.

Taste

Full-bodied palate with exceptional black fruit intensity and spice. Big structured with well integrated, supple tannins and a long, persistent finish.

Analytical data at the time of bottling

Alcohol 13.77%, total acidity 5.36 per thousand, color 17.57, sugar 0.7 per thousand, polyphenols 3,858 mg/l, dry extract 31.28 g/l.

Serving temperature

20°C, 68°F.

Gastronomy

Best served with roasts and grilled meats, especially “fiorentina-style” T-bone steak.