The Gravels, Ngakirikiri, Villa Maria
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Grape VarietySangiovese, Ciliegiolo, Pugnitello
StyleFull & Opulent
A large estate, with 180 hectares of immaculately maintained vineyards in Castelnuovo Berardenga, which lies adjacent to its sister property Villa la Pagliaia. The wines at both are made by Leonardo Bellaccini, a master of the 'non interventionist' approach, giving classic expressions of high quality Sangiovese, restrained and complex and with great balance and depth. The secret lies in high quality grapes from exceptional vineyards, driven by an intensive research programme, in particular by selection of the best naturally occuring clones. The resulting wines are understated but satisfying, unencumbered by new oak, Cabernet or flashy winemaking.
After harvesting in the second week of October, each grape variety was fermented separately in stainless steel, followed by a 22-day maceration at 28-30 degrees C. After malolactic fermentation the wine was matured for 24 months - half in large 60-100hl Slavonian oak ovals and half in 225-500l French oak barriques. The wine was then held in bottle for a further 8 months before release.
Ripe and opulent with complex aromas of violets, cassis, tobacco and licquorice. Full-bodied and velvety smooth - the ripe plum and black fruit characters are enhanced by fine tannins, beautifully balanced acidity and well-integrated spicy oak. Should improve with cellaring of perhaps 10 to 15 years.
2011 Vintage: “A fantastic combination of power and finesse, this opens with aromas of under brush, ripe plum, truffle, leather, smoke and a balsamic note. The firm, delicious palate delivers fleshy black cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and mocha. Velvety tannins support the juicy flavours. 95 points.” Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, 9th January 2015