Our tasting impressions
Enticing earthy and feral aromatics are wild and provocative. The wine has lovely texture that sensually coat the mouth. It has fabulously nervy tension before the tannins take charge. It's really long and fabulous. Over time, as it fills out and further resolves it will offer a terrific alternative to typical Sangiovese-based Tuscan wines.
About this wine
Sator's flagship red, a DOC from Montescuadaio, is a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Ciliegiolo and 25% Teroldego. All are manually harvested and each variety, from each plot, is fermented and aged separately. Gianni varies his winemaking methods for Operaundici each year, depending on the growing season and grapes. Fermentation is with indigenous yeasts at a controlled temperature.
The wine ages in barriques for the Sangiovese and Teroldego for 18-20 months. The Ciliegiolo is in cement vats, also for 18-20 months. The final wine is blended and rests in the bottle for 12 months.
About the grape
Sangiovese is the most planted grape in Italy and is the dominant grape throughout the central part of the country. The grapes are dark and thick skinned, slow-ripening, acidic and tannic. Sangiovese is heavily influenced by its terroir and similarly can be quite transparent in its differences from place to place.
Ciliegiolo (Italian for little cherry) is a renaissance grape that adds energy and freshness when blended with heavier red grapes. Teroldego, best known in Trentino wines, adds deep color, softness and lots of fruit.
Gianni's perspective on the vintage
2016 was a textbook vintage. Autumn was unusually hot. The winter was very rainy and cold only in February. New buds appeared in the middle of April thanks to higher temperatures. Spring was a mix of rain and sun with temperatures constantly below average. At the beginning of summer, temperatures returned to normal with some periods in July higher than usual.
The trend of temperatures and the good water reserves accumulated during winter and spring, prevented water stress and the vines reached their desired stage of maturity. August saw a good range of temperatures and heavy rain in the middle of the month. Fine conditions leading up to harvest helped the grapes to become sweeter and to reach the perfect ripeness. The harvest started at the beginning of September collecting first Merlot and Ciliegiolo grapes, ending with Sangiovese in the middle of October.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
Sator in Latin means one who plants and was a minor Roman god of agriculture. It features in the famous, yet mysterious, Sator Square.
There is nothing mysterious about Sator, the Azienda in the village of Pomaia in the northern Tuscan Maremma. This is the west coast, near Pisa. The Moscardini family has owned this land for 2 centuries but Gianni and Roberta were the first to plant vines in the volcanic soil in 2008.
Production is 50,000 bottles annually from 13ha at an elevation of about 180m. The vines are trained in the Guyot system. They make DOC Montescudaio from grapes like Sangiovese and Merlot as well as an array of Toscana IGT from Italian varieties not necessarily associated with Tuscany. All of the varieties are planted in at least 2 plots - each with a different soil composition.
Their style is focused on wines of elegance. Their credo is to produce wines that fit seamlessly with the land in which they are planted, which is why they vinify the grapes from each plot separately prior to blending.