Monte Bernardi Retromarcia Chianti Classico
Nose: Intense mountain herbs, aromas of cranberry, wild cherry and red plums, anise, spice, and orange peel
Palate: Fresh and fruity, medium-bodied, well balanced, with a nice structure, juicy acidity and a long finish
Maturation: 18 months in large casks, non-lined concrete (30%) and used Tonneaux
Malolactic fermentation: Natural, in oak
The Monte Bernardi estate covers 53 hectares, 15 of which are under vine. 4.8 of these hectares are held on a long lease, which was taken out in 2011. The vineyards are situated in the hilly, southern-most region of Panzano, an area long acknowledged as one of the Grand Crus of Chianti Classico. Michael Schmelzer and his family bought the estate in 2003, and have invested heavily in it ever since.
The vines are planted on a soil of a high rock content mixture which, depending on the vineyard, consists of shale (Galestro), sandstone (Arenaria) and limestone (Alberese). The vineyards are perfectly situated at an altitude of 350 metres above sea level, surrounded by forests and enjoying a southern exposure, with the river Pesa flowing just a few hundred metres to the south.
The estate has been certified organic and bio-dynamic since 2004. Grass and cover crops are grown in alternate rows: composted cow manure and biodynamic preparations are used. Harvesting is by hand, usually from late September until mid-October. Annual production is between 55,000 and 65,000 bottles. None of the wines is filtered.
“The Italian word Retromarcia means more to us than its literal translation “to back up” or “to reverse”, it has been our aim to produce intensely typical and expressive wines from Tuscany’s historic zone – Chianti Classico, using only traditional grapes. With the name Retromarcia, we are emphasizing a return to the natural elegance and charm of Sangiovese.” – Monte Bernardi
Our estate wines are made only from our grapes; sourced from the vineyards we farm. We have great affection for Sangiovese, Chianti Classico and the distinctness of Panzano. Every decision we make is with the aim of creating wines which are true to our land.
We farm our vines biodynamically*. This allows for the greatest expression of terroir, ultimate quality, and harmony between our vineyards and the environment.
Our methods involve maximizing the quality of the fruit that comes from our vineyards, harvesting at optimal ripeness and selecting only the best fruit when hand picking and sorting. The fruit is de-stemmed and lightly crushed directly into small, stainless steel or oak fermentation tanks. The grape must is held 3 to 5 days in pre-fermentation maceration in a temperature controlled condition; thereafter the temperature is allowed to rise to a maximum of 30°C for alcoholic fermentation. During this time the ferment is regularly hand plunged.
After 20 to 27 days, the wines undergo malolactic fermentation in oak. Depending on the desired style, varying sizes of oak are selected for maturation. After maturing 8 to 30 months in oak, the wines are bottled without filtration or fining*. All fruit is sourced from Monte Bernardi and only indigenous yeast and bacteria are used.
The minimal addition of sulfites is kept to the minimum consistent with ensuring the longevity of the wine’s natural flavour and colour. In short, the result of this labour of love is pure wines which express the essence of Panzano.
Monte Bernardi Retromarcia Chianti Classico – Hay Wines
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