Appellation: Bolgheri D.O.C. Superiore
Grape varieties: Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon with additional Merlot and a small quantity of Cabernet Franc
The Territory: Bolgheri
Vineyard location: Via Bolgherese, Cabernet Sauvignon (3.00 Ha – 7.40 ac); Le Sondraie, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon (12,00 Ha – 29.65 ac)
Altitude: Via Bolgherese 56 m (183 ft) above sea level; Le Sondraie 35 m (114 ft) above sea level
Exposure: West – South/West
Soil characteristic: Via Bolgherese: deep soils with coarse-grained red sand, gravelly, well drained with a layer of clay at 120 cm (46 inches) below the surface. Slightly sub-alkaline. Le Sondraie: clayey with well-drained sandy-silt and high concentrations of magnesium and iron
Training system: Spurred cordon
Average age of the vines: 13 years
Density of the vineyards: Via Bolgherese 9,000 vines/Ha (3,642/ac); Le Sondraie: 7,936 vines/Ha (3,211 vines/ac)
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
Harvest: At the end of August for Merlot, followed by Cabernet Franc (mid-September) and ending with Cabernet Sauvignon at the end of September. Grapes are hand harvested in small 15 kgs crates. Further manual selection upon arrival at the winery with the use of a sorting table
Vinification: De-stemming then soft pressing to partially rupture of the berries
Fermentation: In temperature controlled stainless steel tanks
Fermentation temperature: 28/30°C (82/86°F)
Length of fermentation: 10 Days
Malolactic fermentation: Carried out naturally (without inoculation) in barriques at 22°C (68°F) in November
Ageing: 18 months in 225 liter French oak barrique from Allier (50% new, 50% second use)
Alcohol content: 14.1% Vol
Total acidity: 5.8 g/l
Residual sugars: 1.5 g/l
Dry extract: 32 g/l
Free SO2: 95 mg/l
An unusual vintage at Bolgheri; it was rather wet and cool compared to the norm for this area. The results are, nonetheless, excellent: the grapes have optimal levels of acidity and a low pH. The harvest commenced in September with a delay of some 7-10 days compared with vintage 2009, and the last grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon were picked in mid-October. The rather cool weather has yielded wines that are easy to drink and unusually crisp for coastal are wines. Naturally, the climate also had a particularly favorable effect on the early and mid – ripening varietals. Excellent results in fact have been achieved with Vermentino, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc. In the Bolgheri area, grape load per vine was considerably lower than usual, although not as low as in Montalcino. Some light leaf thinning and cutting back ensured that grapes remained in prime condition on the vine until ripening was complete. All the wines demonstrate good structure, are intense in colour and have a pristine and elegant nose. Whilst awaiting the opportunity to evaluate the evolution of the wines after ageing, we would in any case have no hesitation in defining this vintage as one of the best in the last ten years.
After just a few vintages Sondraia has become a classic in the Bolgheri area, thanks to a style that seeks a powerful profile but with harmony and finesse. Perfectly ripe grapes and painstaking work in the cellar yield a wine with intense notes of fresh fruit and herbs which follow through on the palate, where the wine opens up with great class and silky smoothness.
A natural match with char-grilled meats, particularly beef, Sondraia i salso recommended with kebabs, roasted veal, pork, lamb shank, ribs or ‘ossobuco’. It is enhanced when paired with smoked ricotta cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano and medium-matured sheep’s milk cheeses.
Serve at 16/18°C (64/68°F) in a large red wine glass.