Ampio, Le Mortelle, Antinori 2016
The 2016 vintage’s growing season was characterized by light rainfall in winter and a mild spring. Bud break and bloom developed evenly, occurring slightly earlier than average but then balanced off with fruit set. The summer season saw higher than average temperatures during the months of July and August that provided minimal yet beneficial stress on the grapevines enhancing the distinctive territorial characteristics of each grape variety. Light rain showers in September together with subsequently lower temperatures allowed perfectly healthy grapes to reach optimal ripening. The unique exposure of Ampio’s vineyards, which benefit from northwesterly afternoon breezes and excellent temperature fluctuations between day and night, favor the development of spicy, aromatic notes that enhance Carménère’s balance and Cabernet’s elegant structure. Harvesting operations began at the end of September for Cabernet Franc and continued with Cabernet Sauvignon concluding with Carménère at the beginning of October.
Ampio is crafted from the best vineyards on Le Mortelle estate. Grapes are harvested into small crates and brought to the cellar where they are carefully selected by hand. Using the technique of gravity flow, only the juice from the finest berries reaches the special truncated-cone tanks: a winemaking process that preserves the purity and freshness of the grapes. The tanks particular shape and our unique punching-down method guarantee a winemaking process that is delicate yet decisive and able to enhance the aromas, tannic structure and individual characteristics of each grape variety. The different batches, separated by grape variety, undergo malolactic fermentation in new French oak barriques and are then aged for approximately 18 months before final blending. Ampio ages for an additional period of 12 months in the bottle before being released for sale.
The Le Mortelle estate is in the heart of Maremma in Tuscany, near the town of Castiglione della Pescaia set in an extraordinary and fascinating position both for the territory’s unparalleled natural beauty and its historical heritage and culture. The Antinori family has always been present in this area. Evidence of ownership of land in this area is recorded on a property deed dated 1863. It states their ownership of Poggio Franco, one of the best vineyards on the estate, together with other parcels of land. Since 1999, when the property was acquired, the family has dedicated their efforts to improving the vineyards and building the new winery with the firm belief that this area, slowly emerging on the Italian viticultural horizon, has great potential for the production of high-quality wines. Varieties grown in this area can fully express their own characteristics as well as the exceptional qualities of the terroir.
Ampio 2016 is dark ruby red in color. Its nose has character with spicy notes of black pepper and licorice accompanied by small dark berries; delicate hints of aromatic herbs, lavender flowers and subtle sensations of tobacco, mint and chocolate complete its aromatic profile. Its palate is seductive, elegant with mouth filling tannins. The deep persistent finish has refined hints of bitter cacao and blueberries