APPELLATION: Toscana Indicazione Geografica Tipica.
FIRST VINTAGE: 2002
GRAPES: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese.
ALCOHOLIC CONTENT: 14,00%
TOTAL ACIDITY: 5.55
TYPE OF SOILS: Soils with various and composite morphological characteristics with a strong presence of calcareous areas rich in marl and pebbles and partially clayey; they are located at an altitude between 100 and 300 meters above sea level, facing south / south-west.
TRAINING SYSTEM: Spurred cordon.
PLANTS DENSITY: From 5,500 to 6,250 vines per hectare.
CLIMATIC TREND: After a rather mild autumn with temperatures often above the seasonal norm and sporadic rains, winter has been remarkably rigid. Since the end of February, the icy winds from Siberia (Buran) have brought down the mercury column well below zero. It snowed twice on the Bolgheri area. A situation that had not occurred for many years, with day and night temperatures maintained for several weeks between -2 and -5 ° C. From an agronomic point of view it was a real benefit that helped prolonging the vegetative standstill, helping the natural elimination of vine pests but also feeding the water reserves of the subsoil. The first week of March saw a slight rise in temperatures and the arrival of heavy rainfall, but immediately after a further cold wave with temperatures below the seasonal average and frequent rains, the germination of the vines was delayed. Spring has arrived from mid-April with the arrival of sunny days and rising temperatures. Temperatures that for about 15-20 days were excessive and outside the seasonal norm. The situation returned to normal conditions in first ten days of May. The vegetation was excellent in a favorable vintage also from the point of view of the water reserve of soils and temperatures.
During May and June the climate was characterized by sporadic rainfall alternating with sunny days, creating conditions that on one hand required a greater presence of labor in the vineyards, but on the other hand have been clearly favorable for the viticulture allowing the completion of the phases of flowering and fruit set under the best conditions. The extreme heat manifested itself from the first ten days of July with no rain and little ventilation, both during day and night, until the first ten days of August, when the arrival of an Atlantic perturbation allowed the situation to return to normality with temperatures that were back to the seasonal average. Sporadic rains in mid-August helped to revive the vegetation and avoid any stress to the plants. Since August 20th, temperatures went up again but still remained below the seasonal average and delayed the ripening of the grapes. Production was slightly lower than average but of excellent quality. The optimal weather conditions that characterized the year and especially the period of phenolic ripening resulted into healthy, well-ripened and aromatic grapes with lower sugar. The result was a balanced must, adequately sapid and with perfect harmony between the anthocyanin structure and the acidity of the wine. Excellent balance in terms of acidity, pH and structure are the main features of this vintage 2018 of Le Difese.
HARVEST TIME: The harvest, strictly by hand, began on the 16th September with Cabernet Sauvignon and the first week of October was completed with those of Sangiovese.
WINEMAKING NOTES: Careful selection and selection by hand of the bunches. Soft pressing and destemming of the grapes. Primary fermentation in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature (29-30 ° C) without the addition of external yeasts. Maceration on the skins for 12-15 days for Cabernet Sauvignon and for about 15-18 days for Sangiovese, with subsequent phases of pumping over and deléstage to soften and refine the tannins. Malolactic fermentation carried out in steel and concluded in mid-November.
AGING: At the end of the malolactic fermentation the wine was aged for about 8 months in French oak barriques of third passage previously used for Sassicaia.