Some rain during the early part of 2003 restored the soil’s water reserves. The flowering and the setting followed their normal course. The summer was very hot and dry, but growth developed steadily. The vines, for long periods close to stress conditions, acquired a rich reserve of polyphenols enhanced by a sunny and airy August which enabled them to reach full phenolic maturation.
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The vineyard: the grapes are grown in a little vineyard, close to the cellars, situated in the Tenuta Rapitalà on terrain of limestone rocks at 300 metres above sea level.
The vinification: the grapes are left to dry on the vine until they reach a perfect concentration of sugars. The sauvignon is picked in the last week of October and the catarratto at the end of November. During the vintage some noble rot (Botrytis Cinerea) is evident on the sauvignon grapes. After the picking follows the vinification by the white wine method by way of a gentle pressing and cold settling. The must begins a very slow fermentation due to the high concentration of sugars (up to 4 weeks); part ferments in steel and part in small oak containers.
The ageing: the resulting wine has more than 20° potential alcohol of which 13.5° are actual; it is put into French barriques where it stays to mature for 10/11 months. The sauvignon and the catarratto are finally blended and bottled.
The wine: a wine of great character which at once evokes the sicilian landscape and conveys its heat, its power and its range. The colour is that of the limestone rocks in autumn, when nature recovers from the tiring heat of the summer and the morning dew highlights the intense ochre of the clay.
The flavour is warm, full and deep as only grapes exposed for a long time to the sun of the sicilian autumn – more benevolent than the aggressive sun of the summer – can produce.
Analytical details: 13% alcohol; 4.94g/l total acidity; 3.70pH; 134g/l residual sugar.