THE PRODUCER: San Biagio Azienda Agricola
Growing location: The Montersino vineyard stretches out over a prime wine-growing hillside site straddling the border between San Rocco Seno d’Elvio – an outlying district of Alba – and the village of Treiso. Completely replanted in 2001, it facing south at an altitude of 300 m on soil formed by calcareous marly layers and veins of tufa.
Vine-growing characteristics: The vineyard is distinguished by very dense planting (5500 vines/hectare) made possible by the steepness of the slope. The variations in temperature resulting from the shape of the hillside, combined with the thinning of the bunches carried out by hand from the end of July, allow the wine to express intensely fruity qualities.
Harvest: In October. The best grapes are selected in the vineyard on picking, and again during crushing operations. In keeping with a strict quality programme, the yield per hectare is never higher than 5 tons/hectare, well below the limit of 8 tons/hectare allowed by the production regulations.
Vinification: The maceration on the skins, lasting around 35 days, takes place in heat-conditioned steel tanks. Frequent, gentle breaking up of the cap during this time is essential in obtaining good extraction of the finer polyphenols which give the wine overtones of sweetness and softness. Subsequent batonage stimulates the fermentation and enzymatic process, developing the ethereal aromas in particular.
Aging: In small barrels of French oak holding 500 and 700 litres for 15 months, followed by a further 12 months in the bottle.
Nose: Delicate, with fruity yet ethereal aromas reminiscent of raspberry and violet that combine nicely with richer, more spicy notes including cinnamon, withered flowers, wood, roasted hazelnuts and vanilla.
Taste: Big, robust, full-bodied flavour which is equally smooth and well-balanced, making it a wine of great prestige and excellence.