GRAPES: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese.
VINTAGE: A very special year that will probably be remembered as one of the driest after 2003. Although the autumn started with rains and temperatures above the seasonal average, December and January were very cold with night temperatures below zero, accentuated by the strong winds from north and absence of rainfalls. The cold climate was positive as it helped to eliminate pests and fungal diseases of the vines. Winter was marked by low rainfall, not enough to supply the water resources of the subsoil. From March the temperatures started to rise and spring begun in the first week of April. Between April and mid-May, the climate was dry, except from some sporadic rains. From mid-May temperatures rose above seasonal average. Summer months were characterized by sunny days and high temperatures. Luckily, the alternation of sea breezes during the day and winds coming from inland blowing during the nights, prevented the vines from suffering any stress. The particular microclimate of Bolgheri and Bolgheri Sassicaia was really essential in a vintage like 2017. The combination of the morphology of the soil, the vines’ altitude, their exposure and the proximity of the sea, along with the surrounding Mediterranean vegetation, all contributed to mitigate the heat, more than in any other territory. The veraison began in mid-July and the climatic trend anticipated the ripening of the grapes. In mid-August, however, an Atlantic Ocean turbulence led to rains and sudden climate change. This made the harvest last a bit longer for Cabernet and Sangiovese. The climatic trend influenced the yields of production that have been on average 20% less than usual. The quality of the fruits was not affected and during the harvest the grapes were perfectly ripped, healthy, crispy and homogeneous. As a result, the musts were balanced, sapid and with a perfect harmony between structure and acidity. All these things, combined with salinity and great aromas, are the main feature of Le Difese 2017.
HARVEST: The manual harvest began in early September with the grapes of Cabernet and was completed at the end of the month with those of Sangiovese.
WINEMAKING NOTES: Selection of the bunches on a sorting table. Soft pressing and destemming of the grapes. Primary fermentation in stainless steel vats at controlled temperature (29-30 ° C) with no external yeasts. Maceration on the skins for 10-13 days for the Cabernet S. and for about 13-15 days for the Sangiovese, with successive phases of pumping over and délestage aimed at softening the tannic component. Malolactic fermentation in steel.
AGEING: At the end of the malolactic fermentation the wine has been aged for about 8 months in oak barriques.