Castello di ama
L’Apparita was Tuscany’s first pure Merlot and has been a cult wine since its very first vintage, in 1985. The small parcels that make up the 3.84 hectares of the L’Apparita vineyard are set atop the Vigneto Bellavista hill, at an altitude di 490 metres asl. In 1975 they were planted with Canaiolo and Malvasia Bianca, then grafted over with Merlot clone 342 between 1982 and 1985. The vines are trained as open lyre and the soil is clay rich, making this tiny cru a real gem in the world of winemaking.
Vinification and maturation
Fermentation was started using ambient yeasts in steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 30–33 °C, with manual pumpovers and total cuvaison of 25 days. After first racking, the wine was transferred to barriques for malolactic fermentation. Maturation: after malolactic fermentation, the wine spent 18 months in fine-grain oak barriques, of which 50% were new and the rest were second passage. The wine was bottled on 23 September 2015, producing 6,342 standard Bordeaux bottles, 215 magnums, 42 Jeroboams, and 30 Salmanazars.
Growing season weather conditions
Summer started late and first veraison was in early August. Until mid-September there were sunny days and summer heat, then temperatures dropped again, especially at night. Harvest was delayed and took place on 26, 27 and 28 September 2013. Start of harvest was decided only after numerous samples were taken for sensory analysis in the vineyard and in the laboratory. Harvest was entirely by hand, filling 10–12kg crates, followed by inspection on a sorting bench.
Colour: deep, impenetrable crimson with violet nuances. Nose: red berries, blackberries; spice reminiscent of vanilla, black peppercorns and juniper. A balsamic note completes the aromatic profile of this wine. Mouth: extremely stylish, velvety and mouthfilling, yet powerful, with silky, delicate tannins. Decidedly fresh-tasting, endlessly lingering.
The highlight in this range, the 2013 L’Apparita is a real stunner. Deep, explosive and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2013 possesses stunning nuance. This is an especially restrained Apparita built more on finesse than power. The translucence and total sense of elegance here are both truly remarkable. In short, this is a memorable edition for one of Tuscany’s very finest wines. Layers of rich, dark fruit, spice, leather and smoke infuse the creamy, voluptuous finish. The oak needs to settle down.