Le Maestrelle Toscana IGT 2014
Tasting notes: Ruby red with purple highlights in color, the wine shows intense and ample aromas of red fruit, chocolate, and mint.
The palate is balanced, of good body with velvety tannins, and the finish and aftertaste recall the aromas first felt on the nose.
Alcohol by volume: 13% vol.
Blend of grapes: Sangiovese 60%, merlot 20%, syrah 20%
The 2013 vintage was characterized, from a climatic point of view, by abundant winter and spring rainfall. The bud burst took place approximately ten to fifteen days later than in recent vintages and both the flowering and the bud set of the vines were somewhat irregular, the last of these due to rains which favored the outbreak of fungal diseases in the vineyard. The weather required systematic and intensive vineyard work to prevent the spread of these attacks. Summer was characterized by little rainfall and by temperatures which were somewhat cool for the season. The harvest began in mid-September with the picking of the Merlot and Syrah, early-ripening varieties, while the picking of the later-ripening Sangiovese and Cabernet began during the last week of the month and concluded during the third week of October.
The three grape varieties in the blend were harvested at different time periods and, accordingly, fermented separately. This enabled the grapes to be fermented and to remain on their skins according to the specific needs and characteristics of the individual varieties and, consequently, to bring out, in each, the fullness of the aromas and the suppleness of the tannins. Temperatures were held constantly to a maximum of 77° Fahrenheit (25° centigrade), and the pumping over of the skins in the tanks was done with the maximum delicacy. A part of the Sangiovese and Syrah crop was given a cold maceration at 46° Fahrenheit (8° centigrade) before fermentation began in order to maximize the extraction of their color and aromas. The wine which was obtained went through a complete malolactic fermentation towards late October. Fifteen percent of the total was then aged in oak barrels, the remaining part in stainless steel tanks, and the wine began to be prepared for bottling in August of 2013.
The first Santa Cristina vintage was produced by Marquis Niccolò Antinori in 1946. Over time, Santa Cristina has become a reference point wine both for connoisseurs and for the public as a whole as a direct result of a constant commitment to quality. The care and attention which have always been invested in the vineyards and in the cellar have stimulated continuous innovation and a constant evaluation and judgment of the house’s work both with international and native grape varieties. An entire family of products has been created in this way, each different but distinguished by a common style, fruit of the indissoluble links between vineyard, territory, and human efforts. The classic Santa Cristina has thus been joined by Santa Cristina Bianco, Santa Cristina Rosato, and Santa Cristina Le Mastrelle together with Campogrande and Cipresseto; along with other specialties such as the Santa Cristina extra-virgin olive oil and grappa, they represent yet another step in a long and ongoing viticultural tradition.