Palazzi 2021


Palazzi showcases Merlot at its best, with plush, supple fruit balanced by intense minerality. A blend of grapes from across the estate, Palazzi comes from a selection of older vines of merlot, comprising about five to seven hectares. Several months in new barrel add layers of richness and complexity, making the wine approachable and pleasing from release, with elegant structure that can stand the test of time. It is one of the great examples of Italian merlot, and only a small quantity is produced each year.

The short winter, which lasted just one January and ended with the copious snowfall in February, made us nervous reappearing during Spring and bringing in a cold draft of air from the east that paralyzed every crop.

The plants of the plain had just begun their journey towards the 2021 harvest, at least 15 days earlier than usual due to the high temperatures in March, when the whole peninsula was overwhelmed by a current of cold air from 7th to 9th April. We use 4000 anti-frost candles in the vineyards, creating an unfortunately necessary evocative show.

In the following months, the plants are hit by record hot temperatures and without any rain they try to source from the deepest layers of the root system.

We irrigate, but that’s not enough. We start green harvesting to relieve the vines and allow them to complete the ripening of the few bunches left using the low water resources of the vintage, with leaves and branches protecting the bunches from sunburn. Summer goes by without rain, until the end of August.

A very hot September starts, the bunches find some relief only at night, when fresh air descending from Mount Amiata crosses the valley. On September 9th we harvest our half hectare of Semillon which has now reached ripeness.

We taste the Merlot looking for ripeness but the result is just sugar with no flavours. On September 17th the long-awaited rain arrives and revitalizes everything, lowers the temperatures and makes the Merlot explode in fruit and flavours, so we take advantage of the cooler days to harvest from September 21st until the 24th. Sparse and light grapes with fiery red stems, earlier than usual.

With the Merlot fermenting in the cellar we wait for the Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, while temperatures rise again in a never ending summer. The ripeness is still far away, Autumn starts with heavy rains between October 4th and 7th, at night temperatures are below zero. We collect the Franc on October 12th,14th and 16th, small bunches with thick skin and generous pulp.

Suddenly we have a winter climate and we run to get jackets. Finally, on October 16th and 21st we harvest the late Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot in a very cold climate.

The result is wines with more firm tannins marked by drought and by the different ripening times, but with a nose and a body strongly influenced by the cold that has arrived, vivid nose and dense but energetic and fresh bodies.

We let the 45 parcels age in barriques until the new year when we will decide the blends of the 2021 vintage.


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Vini Franchetti