Ripe, big rounded fruit; expressive with youthful strawberry and damson fruit. A great wine that, very definitely needs food. The 2008 has an extra dimension with a certain darkness and spice, the tannins are ripe and rounded, firm, not intrusive.
Paolo’s approached to wine tasting is different, to everybody. When we first met, he offered the 2003 Spirto, giving no indication as to what it might be, the labels are certainly no help. The wine was fresh and rich, lovely balance, very grown-up and he really didn’t want to tell me what it was. Do you like it? How do you feel about this wine? These are the questions he felt were important, the grape variety is not important, the quality of fruit that the vine can produce on that particular patch of land is crucial. He also gives little weight to the vintage, the question was, how is the wine? The wine I very first tasted, 2003, was a very hot vintage and did not give this away, so something works pretty impressively.
The vineyard is between 25 and 75 meters above sea level, planted in the curve of the hill that catches the sea breezes from the Arcipelaga Toscana. The land is a mixture of clays and small stones, a typical Tuscan galestro. The vines were planted in 1999 at a density of 5500 plants per hectare which yield around four tons of fruit per hectare. The harvest is by hand by the family with a little outside help, the grapes are crushed before being fermented in open barrels of varying sizes (mostly tonneaux).
After fermentation the wine is transferred to a temperature-controlled vat for a ‘post-fermentation soak’ before a 2 year ageing in French (Allier) tonneaux and barrique.
The 2007 Spirto is from a hot vintage and the fruit has a wonderful intensity. The tannins have real grip, firm not obtrusive.