The vineyards are planted on plots of land with different and composite morphological characteristics, as well as with a strong presence of limestone. These areas are also rich in rocks and rather rich in clay and are located at an altitude between 100 and 300 meters above sea level, facing West - South/West.
The climate for the 2012 vintage was rather special. Autumn and Winter were long and cold, to the point that at the end of January the Bolgheri hills were covered with snow. The spring started with a slight delay, causing the vines to bud 10 - 15 days later than the seasonal average. From the beginning of May, however, the temperatures rose and accelerated the arrival of summer. June rainfall partially reconstituted the water reserves of the soil. The summer was very hot, with sunny days and temperatures above the seasonal average. The summer was long, with very high daytime temperatures requiring an early harvest of the Merlot as well as part of the Cabernet.
The hand picking of the grapes began in early September with Cabernet Franc since they were the first to reach an excellent phenolic ripeness. The Cabernet Sauvignon was next between the first 10 days of September until the first days of October ending with the historical vineyard on the heights of Castiglioncello di Bolgheri. The harvest was perfect with healthy grapes, a regular veraison and no millerandage (irregular growth of the berries).
A very gentle crushing and de-stemming of the grapes was followed by fermentation in temperature controlled steel vats (between 30° - 31° C, without adding yeast ). The maceration on the skins lasted 9 to 12 days for both, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon with frequent pumpovers of the musts and délestages. The secondary fermentation (Malolactic fermentation) also took place in steel vats. Ageing: Following the malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged in French oak barriques for 24 months and a few more months in the bottle before being released on the market.
Here are the thoughts of Daniele Cernilli, a well respected wine critic, on the 2012 vintage:
"A magnificent vintage, the product of a very Mediterranean yet regular season that was decidedly ‘Bolgheri-esque’. The color is an intense ruby-garnet and the bouquet elegant and clean with notes of wild berries that are full and elegant with balsamic hints in the background. The mouthfeel is velvety, almost silky, without any tartness, composed, fine and with a nice agile body and a surprising persistence. A virtuous mix of elegance and drinkability."