The relative quckness with which the Veronese winery Tenuta Sant’Antonio have been able to carve out a leading role in the production of the traditional Valpolicella wines is a fact now acquired. It all began in 1989 when four brothers, Armando, Massimo, Tiziano and Paolo Castagnedi, bought about thirty hectares of vineyards in Monte Garbi, 15 kilometers east of Verona, and joined the 20 purchased by their father Antonio in 1961 in San Zeno di Colognola, 10 more kilometers to the east. Since then, just 30 years have passed and the winery has already expanded, coming to own over 100 hectares of vineyards, all located in the same eastern side of Valpolicella, between the valleys and the hills of Illasi and Mezzane.
The viticulture style carried out, assisted by incessant research and experimentation, has a respectful approach to the ecosystem with some solutions adopted by with a purely biological character, and other with natural one. Among them it is worth mentioning the total grassing of the inter rows, the practice of manual mowing and green manure, the organic plant-based fertilization obtained from the fermentation of recycled processing waste, and even a significant reduction in products such as copper and sulphur. In the cellar it tries to do everything possible to make the most of the grapes, grown in such a healthy and clean way, through fermentations carried out by yeasts selected from the grapes themselves and with the use, at every stage of processing, of azote, which has a protective and antioxidant function.
From a vineyard at 300 meters above sea level in Moti Garbi, with a white skeleton of calcareous origin, enriched by a slight presence of silt and sand, from vines of about 40 years, comes the spearhead of the winery, the Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva Lilium Est, a blend of Corvina and Corvinone (70%), Rondinella (20%), Croatina (5%) and Oseleta (5%). The grapes, after the manual harvest and a double sorting (always manual), are left to dry in the appropriate environments for about three months; once reached the desired withering, they are vinified in new opened tonneaux. After pressing, the must undergoes alcoholic fermentation, with manual fulling, for about 20/25 days and, subsequently, the malolactic one, in new 500-litre tonneaux. The wine, then, rests for three years in new barriques, with weekly batonnage during the first year, and, once bottled, for another four, before being put on the market.
The 2006 vintage has a concentrated and impenetrable ruby color, with an olfactory range that opens on notes of prune, wild blackberry, black cherry and vanilla, followed dy pot pourri, underbrush, dark chocolate and roasted coffee, and final echoes of goudron, graphite, vinyl and boise. The taste strikes for its pronounced roundness (which seems to give almost an idea of sweetness) and its warmth, given by the 16% abv, perfectly integrated, enriched by a good sapid component and a barely whispered acidity, but however sufficient to lighten the sip; all while returning retro-olfactory spice, boisée and red fruit that persist for a long time in the mouth, even after an almost endless closure.
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