Contrada Chiappemacine 2012

2012 was a hot and dry year, with no rain from May to October – one of the warmest summers we’ve had on Etna. At the beginning of October we started tasting the grapes in the vineyards, but everything was quite unripe. The sugar was high while the acidity was low, and yet the plants were highly stressed to the point that the grapes were almost raisinated on the vine. All of the other winemakers harvested early as a result, but we felt the grapes’ pH was still too low and the alcohol too high to follow suite, instead irrigating and waiting for the grapes to mature properly. We risked losing the harvest, but finally the rains came. After just two days, the components – sugars and acidity – came into balance, and so we harvested very quickly. Fortunately, nerello mascalese is a strong vine, and even in the worst years it can be revived

The 2012 harvest in this contrada occurred on October 20th. The wine has combative, no-nonsense tannins, which are fortunately anything but green; the limestone soil gives the wine roundness and length. It is medium-bodied, more powerful than Rampante. It embodies the notion of oenology.

Vineyard age: 80 years

Vineyard area: 1.2 hectares

Vineyard density: 8,000 vines per Ha

Vineyard altitude: 550 m/1,000 ft a.s.l.

Yield per hectare: 18 Hl/Ha

Fertilization: None

Spraying: Clay, propolis, sulphur, copper, grapefruit seed extract

Vinification: Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats for 10 days

Aging: Malolactic fermentation followed by 18 months aging in large, neutral oak barrels

Bottling: Waning moon of April 2014

Production: 3,500

REVIEWS

“The “C” in the 2012 Contrada C stands for Chiappemacine. This is a 1.2 hectare vineyard planted to 80 year old vines at 550 meters above sea level. The soils here consist of a thin layer of volcanic lava that allows the roots to penetrate the sandy limestone below. This results in a softer wine with a round and plush mouthfeel. Bright berry nuances are followed by pressed rose petal and crushed stone. I would suggest a slightly shorter drinking window for Contrada C. It ages in botte grande for 18 months. Drink: 2015 2022″

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