Antonio Camillo is first a vigneron in the most literal sense of the term, a man who, for a long time, has “got his hands dirty” working for several wineries in the Tuscan Maremma. His history has a turning point when, in 2001, it intersects with that of Giampaolo Paglia and his winery Poggio Argentiera, of which he becomes not only technical director but also a tireless factotum. In 2006 Antonio found an old vineyard in Vallerana Alta and, reached an economic agreement with Paglia, buys it and produces two wines from Ciliegiolo grapes that are marketed by Tenuta Argentiera, although his name is clearly stated on the label. Today Argentiera has changed ownership and Antonio, after saying goodbye to his role in the company, dedicates himself exclusively to his winery that, finally, has its own winemaking area, whose construction ended in 2016.
The vineyards cover 17 hectares and consist of vines over 50 years of age, distributed between Manciano, for the most part, and Pitigliano. The advanced age of the vines is a common and essential characteristic for the winery, because experience has taught Antonio that it takes the appropriate time for a plant to be able to produce balanced fruits, in order to give the right elegance to the wine. The careful traditional viticulture practised, certified organic, is characterized by a lot of manual work, exclusive use of copper and sulphur, and a tendency to interfere as little as possible with nature, both in the vineyard and in the cellar.
Even if over time the production has expanded to other vines, the real signature-vine of the winery remains the Ciliegiolo grape based wine which, in its best known example, the Vigna Vallerana Alta, has collected a lot of acclaim for its high quality. It is a wine produced from a single vineyard of about one hectare, over 50 years of age, located 400 meters above sea level, on clay soils, covered with red gravel, in the municipality of Capalbio, 30 kilometers from the sea. The grapes, harvested on average at the end of September, are vinified in cement with a maceration on the skins of about one month; then they age a year, in 15 hl casks, and another six months, between cement and bottle, before marketing.
The 2018 vintage, of ruby red color of good consistency and intensity, smells of durone, red plum, musk, and dried violet, with a contour of undergrowth, orange peel, Sichuan pepper and nutmeg, and a final echo of vinyl. The taste is decidedly balanced, mainly soft and fresh (without excesses), with a hint of spiciness and the retro-olfactory return of red fruit and vinyl which accompany the sip to a good persistence finish.
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