Graticciaia 2010/11 Agricole Vallone 14.5% 75cl
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An outstanding wine with rich, full bodied aromas of black cherry fruit, tobacco, chocolate, orange peel and old smoky wood. The palate is generous showing opulent sweet fruit, a hint of spice and delicious savoury, meaty twist on the intense and long finish.
Founded in 1943, this family owned producer owns 600 hectares over three estates in the Salento peninsula. Vineyards cover 170 hectares, the rest are planted with a plethora of other agricultural crops, including some of the oldest olive groves in the country. Supported by viticulturalist Donato Lazzari, the Vallone sisters produce wines consistently rated amongst the best in Puglia. Agricole Vallone has two different winemaking facilities, each with the most advanced, up-to-date equipment. The Flaminio estate, near Brindisi, houses the cellar where all the wines are vinified, while the Copertino cellar, in the province of Lecce, carries out the process of maturation in oak, both large 'botti' and small French oak barrels. Both 2001 and 2003 vintages of Graticciaia were awarded 'Tre Bicchieri' in the Gambero Rosso 'Wines of Italy' guide, one of only 7 wines in Puglia to receive Italy's most high profile wine accolade.
In the Vineyard
Graticciaia is made exclusively from Negroamaro grapes cultivated in Vallone's Flamino Estate in the Flaminio countryside in Puglia. The estate is surrounded by century old olive groves that slope gently down to the Adriatic. It covers 310 hectares with 110 dedicated to Brindisi DOC and to Salento IGT wines. All Vallone's vineyards are planted at an average density of 4,500 vines per hectare, and they contain both newly-planted blocks as well as sections over 50 years old, especially of head-trained vines; this mixture ensures a balanced production and one of high quality.
In the Winery
The meticulously graded Negroamaro grapes are laid out on straw mats to sun dry in the exceptional Castel Serranova climate. The grapes lose part of their liquid, thus enhancing their flavour prior to fermentation. The grapes are then carefully vinified and matured slowly in wood. The result is a massive, generous, and opulent wine, which is only produced in outstanding years.
Drink with fine fillet steak in a rich red wine sauce.