DEC96 Vigna San Marcellino is both youthfully fresh and maturely complex. It includes a healthy dose of the deeply coloured Pugnitello grape, and both this and the Sangiovese saw long post-fermentation macerations of over 30 days in 2016. Liquorice, tarragon and broom interlace with exuberant plum and understated toasted nuances that are seductive. Laden with black cherry and rich, velvety tannins, the palate is creamy in texture, while underlying chalkiness and saline minerality lend energy, leading to a sappy, refreshing finish.
Estate Notes: Deeply nuanced and elegant; plum, dark cherries, smoke, tobacco PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Grilled steak; aged Pecorino; osso buco. The blend is 94% Sangiovese and 6% Pugnitello*
Estate vineyards are located in Monti in Chianti, a “micro-area” of Gaiole in Chianti. This area, between 1,050 and 1,500 feet in altitude, offers the ideal range for ripening Sangiovese perfectly. Soils combine alberese (limestone) and galestro (schist) with clay. This wine is a selection of older vines from a 17-acre vineyard near the Pieve di San Marcellino, an eleventh-century Romanesque church. AGE OF VINES: 20-50 years. Hand-harvested. Sangiovese and Pugnitello fermented separately on indigenous yeasts in upright wooden fermentation tanks. Aged for 24 months in French oak (Allier) barrels (35%) and tonneaux (65%), with 15% new, 20% two-year and 60% four-year wood. Aged in bottle for a minimum of 24 months.
*Pugnitello used to be a widely-planted grape but because the Sangiovese-based wines have a much higher yielding Tuscan wineries abandoned Pugnitello and started focusing on Sangiovese. The Etruscans who inhabited Tuscany before the Romans did (around 200 B.C.) used to cultivate Pugnitello.