Ridolfi – I Mercatali
|The Azienda Ridolfi - I Mercatali, includes 30 hectares (a little over 74 acres) on the Montalcino slopes facing Siena, at 300 meters-above-sea-level. The Sangiovese vines are cultivated on over 10 hectares (slightly less than 15 acres) and registered with the official Brunello vine registrar. The estate started production in 2003, crushing about 50,000 kilos (about 55 tons) of grapes to produce 45-50,000 bottles of Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino. The Brunello will be released for the first time in 2008.
• Vineyard density: 2.60/2.80 x 0.80 meters (8.53"/9.15" x 2.6").
• Selected clones for long aging.
• Handmade harvest, with grapes deposited in small, pierced cases.
• Final selection made at the winery.
|Rosso di Montalcino 2003 analyses (before bottling):|
|Luca D'Attoma: Enologist e Agronomists
Mauro Ridolfi: Vineyards / winery owner-manager
Though the Rosso di Montalcino wine was born as the poorer relative of such well known noble, niche wine as the Brunello di Montalcino, it has become itself a well-appreciated niche wine. Ridolfi's Rosso in fact, comes from grapes harvested in the vineyards registered for production of the Brunello di Montalcino in limited quantities per plant, or just over 50 q./ha (about 220 pounds of grapes per plant). In other words, the must produced is exactly the same, the difference the two wines is exclusively in the way they are fermented and aged.
Only part of the Rosso (Red) is fermented in oak barrels from Slovenia, while all the the Brunello must is fermented in wood.
Part of the must destined for the production of the Rosso di Montalcino for the US market ages in a mix of barriques for 17 months and never comes in contact with iron. After 17 months this wine is mixed with the rest that was fermented and aged in iron vats. At that point, it is left to rest for 15 more months in 25-hectoliter (660 gallons) oval oak barrels.
The Brunello wine instead, ages for four years in 25-hectoliter (660 gallons) oak barrels from Slovenia before being bottled, thus it never touches iron containers. The aging is then protracted for at least 12 more months in bottles before release.