The Tempranillo grape is a Spanish variety grown in the country’s northern provinces of Ribera del Duero and Rioja. It adapts well to an airy Mediterranean climate and above all, to fresh, deep soils. At Casale del Giglio the variety thrives in the highly favourable conditions of the ‘Valle’ vineyard (ex ‘Riserva Bottacci’) where the air is even fresher and the soil even deeper than in other parts of the estate. These factors help the grappe to reach full phenolic maturity and a perfect fruit-tobody balance.
GRAPE VARIETIES AND VINIFICATION TECHNIQUE
100% fully ripe Tempranillo grapes, which may have been allowed to shrivel slightly on the vine, undergo cold maceration for two days at 10°C to extract as much aroma as possible from the skins. This initial stage is followed by a very slow, spontaneous, submerged cap fermentation from 16°C to 24°C over 15 to 18 days with periodic *‘delestage’ to aerate the yeasts. Following fermentation the new wine macerates for a further 12/15 days on the skins to extract maximum tannins from a variety where these tend to be sweet and never over-abundant. A small fraction of the mass – 15/20% depending on the vintage – is aged in cherry wood ‘tonneau’ casks while the remainder is stored in stainless steel tanks.
*Délestage: is a specific fermentation management process for red wine, also known as rack and return. As the English term suggests, part of the fermenting must is drained (racked) from the fermentation tank into a second container and then returned to the original tank from above. The aim of the process is to aerate the fermenting wine and by distributing the grape skins evenly throughout the tank, facilitate the extraction of their tannins and colour compounds.
A deep ruby-red wine with aromas of raspberry, blackcurrant, woodland fruits and a hint of ripe marasca cherry. A rich, concentrated palate where notes of spice and fruit, highlighted by the presence of sweet tannins, lead to a long finish. Well suited to long bottle aging.
SUGGESTED FOOD PAIRING
‘Tiella di Polpo’ from the town of Gaeta, a local speciality where two rounds of pizza dough are filled with ‘the fruits of land & sea’ and baked as a pie. A ‘one-pot’ recipe traditionally favoured by both farmers and fishermen as a means of preparing a dish which would keep for several days. The story goes that in the 17th century the pie was extremely popular at the Bourbon court of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
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