A wine you won’t soon forget, full of raspberry, violets and woody spice notes. Named after Audrey Hepburn and nicknamed Ordinary, Audrey was a plain tabby cat. Suffering from Athazagoraphobia, the fear of being forgotten, she was often trotting close to Chester's heels. Like Audrey, this wine will be hard to forget with tannins and lush red fruits lingering on the palate, long after the bottle is empty.
There was ample winter and spring rain which provided good sub soil moisture and resulted in healthy canopies and good vigour. Summer conditions were very mild. Grapes ripened gracefully with only a few small rain episodes, enough to keep the vines fresh and vibrant. Rainfall was only a little over average for the first months of the year.
Small batches of grapes are gently crushed and then transferred to open fermenters. Foot treading is undertaken two-thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is basket pressed, separating free run and pressings, with only Sagrantino pressings used in the final blending with Cinsault. Fermentation is completed in old French oak barriques. The finished wine is then aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.
This wine has too much presence to ever be ignored, and its persistent length will ensure it will not be easily forgotten. The nose is pretty, with raspberry and violets. Beneath this prettiness is a host of earthy, mushroom, woody spice notes. The wine seems to jump from one extreme to the other, pure and fruity to complex and savoury. Play with this wine in your glass over a period of time and watch it unfurl.
Sagrantino is naturally a very tannic variety, so producing a wine from only the pressings, the most tannic portion of the wine, would seem somewhat counterintuitive. But the flowery, fragrant nature of these tannins coupled with the generous amount of fruit flavour just works. Despite the abundance of red fruit, florals and savoury characters, the mouthfeel is very sleek. Lively acidity partners with layers of fine tannins to produce a wine that is fresh, dry and long. The aromatics and mid palate elegance of this wine may have one thinking fine Burgundy, but the tannin and acid structure is much more akin to their northern Italian neighbours in Barolo. If perchance you are to forget this wine, fear not, a number of years laying down in the cellar will only add to the pleasure.
Sagrantino and Cinsault
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