This wine is straw yellow in colour with youthful highlights. It is lightly spiced on the nose from the partial oak ageing, which gives way to a fine, floral and ripe citrus fruit character. On the palate, the wine has good length with ripe pear flavours continuing through to the finish.
The Gran Sasso wines are made by Valentino Sciotti and his team. Rino Santeusanio and Francesco De Santis are the winemakers, with Alberto Antonini acting as consultant. Together, they ensure that the wines have a freshness and vivacity that sets them apart from many in this area.
The team work closely with their growers to produce a deep-coloured, clean and plummy young Montepulciano, as well as their ‘riserva’ style ‘Alta Quota’ Montepulciano d‘Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG which is from a zone in the northern part of Abruzzo that is renowned for the quality of its wine. The Trebbiano grapes are grown in the cooler areas of the Apennine foothills and fermented at low temperatures. The Pecorino is apparently named after the resemblance that the bunch of grapes bears to a sheep’s head. A relatively rare variety, there are only 300 hectares planted in Abruzzo and Le Marche.
Pecorino is an indigenous grape variety planted almost exclusively in the Abruzzo and Le Marche regions. The 200 hectares vineyards are situated on calcareous clay soils with some layers of limestone. They are located at approximately 150 metres above sea level around the town of Orsogna, close to the Majella Mountains in Abruzzo.The vines are between 15 and 20 years old and are trained with the pergola system.
The 2021 vintage saw abundant rainfall during winter, building up good water reserves in the vineyards. The seasonal trend changed between February and early March when temperatures reached 20°C in the coastal strip. In line with recent vintages, temperatures dropped sharply in mid-April but without any significant consequences on the newly sprouted vines thanks to a slight vegetative delay. From the end of May, conditions became favourable, resulting in well-formed, uniform clusters. High summer temperatures followed, resulting in an easy growing season with virtually no disease risk. A lack of rain, coupled with the heat, resulted in lower yields of smaller, intensely flavoured berries that were in pristine condition by harvest.
The Pecorino grapes were hand picked and meticulously sorted in the vineyards. At the winery, they were gently crushed and cooled, in order to help settling, with skin contact for about 12 hours at 3°C. Following this, approximately 80% of the must was fermented in stainless-steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 12°C and the remaining 20% in 40hl oak barrels, to add character to the final blend. The wine then remained in stainless-steel tanks at a temperature of around 10°C, to maintain the fresh fruit aromas, before bottling and release.
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