The Marchesi Antinori is never wrong.
His companies are always, for everything, at the top. At the end of August I was on holiday in Marina di Grosseto and I was kindly invited by Dr. Renzo Cotarella, since 2005 CEO of Marchesi Antinori SpA, to visit their “Le Mortelle” Farm, about ten kilometers from Castiglione della Pescaia.
I was pleased to receive the kind invitation and involved in this visit three of my dear friends, Gianni Pecchioli, Patrizio Giaconi and Sergio Antonini, all wine lovers. To greet us there was Mrs. Sandra Ferrandi who made us visit the company, starting from the cellar and then going for a tour of the vineyards and the restaurant. All the staff of both the winery and the restaurant is young, smiling, friendly and with so much enthusiasm to do their job.
Mrs. Ferrandi made us sit at a table in a living room in the small restaurant to let us taste four wines produced by the company.
Then the director of Le Mortelle joined us, as well as a winemaker from the nearby Montalcino wine company “Pian delle Vigne”, Dr. Fabio Ratto. He, together with Mrs. Sandra Ferrandi told us that the estate, owned by the Antinori family, was part of a larger property, called la Biodola. The renovation works of the complex and the creation of the new winery started in 1999. To my question: why the name Mortelle?, Sandra replied telling me that Mortella is the name of the wild myrtle, a plant typical of the Mediterranean maquis growing on the areas coastal Maremma and that this name was adopted as a symbol of the farm. The property covers about 270 hectares, of which 170 are planted with vines and 15 hectares used for fruit cultivation.
The company is famous not only for wine but also for fruit production: peaches, plums, apricots, pears and blueberries.
The hectares of vineyards are mainly cultivated with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenére, in small quantities, Vermentino, Ansonica and Viogner.
The estate is at the center of a small amphitheater that faces the sea, from north to south, behind the estate. The soil is of medium texture, sandy and silty and has a composition, mostly siliceous – clayey, with a rich skeleton in some areas.
The climate is dry and warm thanks to the proximity of the sea that is able to mitigate the winter cold and to cool the summer heat by limiting rainfall.
Inside the estate there is a lake and next to the farm there is the natural oasis of Diaccia Botrona, both populated by ducks, coots and other birds. Moving on to the tasting, I must point out that as far as the tannin width is concerned, it is important to make the following clarifications, so that it can be understood. I feel the tannin of the wine on the upper gum. The total tannin width is 6/6, that is the whole width of the upper gum. Obviously, if the tannin is less wide, it could be for example 5/6 and so on. The width of the tannin is important when the quality of the same is of good or high level. The larger the tannin, the more attention is paid to the wine, but the tannin, as I pointed out, must in any case be of good quality.
Let us now analyze the wines tasted.
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Maremma Toscana DOC, Viuia, vintage 2018
(Grapes: 50% Vermentino, 40% Viogner and 10% Ansonica)
The first year of production 2010.
Annual bottles produced around 220,000.
Intense straw yellow tending to gold and greenish reflections.
Nose made of COSCIA PEAR perfumes, brewer’s yeast, sea water (white melon), mineral, brackish, floral (hawthorn), white peach, coccoin glue (coconut and almond milk), pineapple, licorice to end with pinches of white pepper .
The taste reveals flavors of lemon, salt and flint. The body is medium enough. Alcohol and freshness alternate with each other (fluctuating effect). Certainly minerality helps freshness in trying to dominate the alcohol. The freshness allows the wine to be persistent. End with yellow grapefruit flavor.
A wine that served very cold, it is a pleasure to drink because the colder temperature reduces the perception of alcohol.
BOTROSECCO, 2016 vintage
Tuscan Maremma DOC
(Grapes: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Cabernet Franc)
bottles produced for about 250,000 vintage
Intense ruby red dress – black
Nose characterized by scents of squeezed ripe plum, straw, blueberries, ripe blackberry, black pepper, nutmeg, ripe marasca cherry. Followed by intense notes of mint and eucalyptus, sea water (white melon and white part of the inner skin of the watermelon), violet and tomato paste.
When tasted, the body is medium enough and the flavor of the plum is highlighted. The wine is balanced between alcohol and freshness while the tannin is quite broad (5 / 6-), sweet initially velvety to then burn and dry, slightly, the upper gum. Its gustative persistence is long with a licorice finish and a slight bitter sensation.
POGGIO ALLE NANE vintage 2016
Tuscan Maremma DOC
(Grapes: 80% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Carménere)
Ruby red and intense purple cloak – black.
Olfactory fan made of plum, mint, eucalyptus, vanilla, amber, black pepper, nutmeg, woodsy, cotton candy, blueberry, blackberry and cassis.
The presence of wood is felt on the palate because the wine is bred for 16-18 months in barriques of 1st and 2nd passage. Fine, elegant wine with sweet, silky and fairly broad tannins (5/6 +).
Finally, the upper gum is slightly burned and dried. Wine balanced between alcohol and freshness. Its persistence with a plum and woody finish is long. Surely with a little rest in the bottle the tannin will be acquired, giving complete silkiness and the wood will be well absorbed by the wine.
AMPIO DELLE MORTELLE, 2015 vintage
(Grapes: 100% Carménere)
bottle production 2.991. 1st year of production.
Intense ruby red color – black.
Bouquet made of aromas of black pepper, intense nutmeg, light cloves, plum, violet, cassis, blueberry, light boisè, cocoa powder, milk froth, to end with sweet references reminiscent of cappuccino froth .
On the palate there is a pleasant fruity sensation reminiscent of squeezed plum and cocoa powder.
Wine with medium body, well balanced, with imperceptible alcohol, thanks to the freshness and tannins. The latter are sweet, silky and wide (6 / 6-).
Its persistence is long with a slightly woody, mint and cocoa finish.
Fine and elegant wine.
After the pleasant tasting we had lunch starting with cold cuts and cheeses and then continuing with dishes at kilometer 0, typical of the Maremma. Drinking, in relaxation, the previously tasted wines and enjoying the beautiful Maremma landscape.
We spent a nice day, lulled by the kindness of those who gave us hospitality and pampered, in this splendid, gastronomic adventure.