Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Uccelliera is the name of an old homestead laid on the hillslope of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, overlooking the ancient volcano of Mount Amiata. Some Middle Age papers report of the existence of this place, called Uccelliera (aviary), near Sant’ Antimo Abbey and the alabaster quarries, attributing the origin of its name to the use of raptors for hunting. Uccelliera has ten hectares of vineyards almost entirely dedicated to Sangiovese, made up of vines between 5 and 45 years old, grown on sandy loam with noticeable presence of crumbled fossils at an average altitude of 150, 250 and 350 meters a.s.l. in the zone of Castelnuovo dell’Abate. 100% Sangiovese. First planted in 1975, the vines enjoy multiple exposures, allowing for choice fruit selection. The appellation Riserva is given to the wine produced under exceptional growing conditions with carefully selected grapes in our oldest vineyards. 2016 vintage – Grapes are hand-picked by trained winery staff from the 25th of September. The grapes selected during the harvest are the result of a careful management of the vegetative growth of the vines so that they express the characteristics of the appellation at their best. Cellar: The collected grapes reach the cellar in a short time and are addressed to the destemming process with the use of dry ice that prevent the berries from oxidation and, by cooling down the temperatures, preserve their original characteristics. Cool temperatures are kept for 7/8 days and allow the development of indigenous yeasts. The alcoholic fermentation starts spontaneously at about 12°C (53°F) up to 27°C (80°F) and lasts 25/30 days with frequent pump-overs. The sugars converted into alcohol at a temperature of 20 degrees – 25 degrees C (68/77 degrees F). After draining off the skins, malolactic conversion occurs in stainless steel. The wine evolves in French and Slavonian oak vessels of various sizes for at least 30 months followed by a further refinement in bottle for a minimum of 16 months.