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Toscana IGP
Soldera® Case Basse® – 100% Sangiovese – 2017 Vintage

Production: 11,149 bottles (0.75 litres) – 378 magnums (1.5 litres). All the bottles are numbered.

The wine’s history through studies conducted by FoodMicroTeam, Spin-off of Florence University.


The 2017 vintage proved extremely hot and dry throughout all the development stages of the vine. From budbreak to harvest, the temperature values were always higher than average and lower rainfall was recorded compared to average data from the ten-year time series.


According to our winery practice, and especially this year, careful agronomic management of the vineyards and rigorous grape selection enabled us to obtain high-quality Sangiovese with a perfect degree of ripening.


The graph below shows details of the daily maximum/minimum temperatures and rainfall between 1st October 2016 and 1st October 2017. Here below is a brief report on the 2017 vintage according to the different phenological stages of the vine.

From plant dormancy to budbreak
This period featured basically average temperatures, but with a lower rainfall, mainly concentrated in the last months of 2016.


From budbreak to flowering
In March 2017, higher than average temperatures led to slightly earlier budbreak, which took place around 29th March. April’s temperatures were average for the period, while May was marked by considerably higher than average temperatures. Full flowering occurred around 24th May and very low rainfall was recorded between budbreak and flowering.


From flowering to veraison
This period, which lasted about 60 days, was marked by a particularly hot June, where rainfall was much lower than average for the period. Full veraison occurred around 23rd July, about a week earlier than in the past.


From veraison to the harvest
The extreme heatwave, with peaks of over 40°C in the first few days of August and an almost total lack of rainfall, brought about a clear acceleration in ripening. This caused us to start the harvest on 26th August, just 33 days after veraison.


At Case Basse, the 10 hectares of vineyards of exclusively Sangiovese grapes are planted in a complex ecosystem, made up of a great variety of other plants, animals and insects. Agronomic management is based on maintaining maximum biodiversity through the skilful and balanced use of science, technology, culture and tradition.


Phytosanitary management of the vineyard
As soon as the first buds appeared, we constantly monitored each vine to decide on the best protection strategies with the help of experts in the field. The only tools we used were the necessary quantities of copper and sulphur, in order to respect the vinegrowing ecosystem, the exploitation of natural antagonists and extremely selective plant protection methods for the different vine diseases. Care, measure, attention, consistency.


Manual canopy management
This year green pruning started early, at the beginning of May. During the subsequent stages, the long branches are never cut (topped), but positioned above the plants, on special frames so as not to alter the natural vigour of the vine and to create natural shade. Furthermore, considering the weather trend of the season, the utmost care was paid to preserving basal leaves and side shoots, allies in protecting bunches from excessive heat and radiation stress.


Bunch selection
Looking after the perfect health of precious bunches from the earliest stages of development to the last ripening stage, by means of constant and rational selection, is of primary importance. Manually removing excess bunches or those not in perfect condition is fundamental for obtaining top-quality production.


Given the precocity of the vintage, sensory assessments and microbiological and chemical-physical analyses were conducted on grapes from the first few days of August. The ripening trend of our Sangiovese 2017 was supervised thanks to frequent sampling, more than once a week.


The parameters monitored
In microbiological terms: assessment of the microorganism populations present on bunches. In technological terms: sugars, acidity and pH. In phenolic terms: potential and extractable anthocyanins, polyphenols, ripeness of grape seeds. This information, together with the irreplaceable tastings, determined the ideal moment: we began harvesting on 26th August, the earliest date in the winery’s history.


Once the bunches have been chosen and handpicked, they are taken to the cellar in small crates (ideal containers to prevent them from being squashed) and placed on the selection table: here they are selected by expert hands.


This is when the berries are separated from the stems. A conveyor belt takes the bunches to the vibrating destemmer which gently destems the berries and sorts them by size: unsuitable ones are discarded.


The intact berries are manually checked one last time on the selection belt. Specialised workers perform the final selection, discarding unsuitable ones.


Only berries that pass all these stages go into the fermentation vat.


Our Sangiovese ferments spontaneously inside truncated-cone shaped Slavonian oak vats of over 100 hL.


The importance of spontaneous fermentation
Spontaneous fermentation enables us to reduce human intervention on natural processes to a minimum: we do not introduce any kind of commercial yeasts to our environment. In this way, we can guarantee a high level of biological variety which adds to the chemical complexity of the wine.


The different species of yeasts are not only responsible for transforming sugars into alcohol, but also for forming molecules that make up the sensory structure of the wine. This is what happens inside our vats. In addition, we use special probes to measure the temperature trend throughout the whole process without interfering artificially with the so-called “controlled temperature”.


Frequent tastings, daily chemical and microbiological analyses, as well as monitoring the fermentation temperature, allow us to carefully follow how the process is going and help us establish how and when to do pumping over.


Which yeasts and how many
From the second day of fermentation (1% alcohol in volume), the wine yeast par excellence, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, gained the upper hand and completed the fermentation of grape sugars. It reached a maximum population of over 90 million cells per millilitre.

The non-Saccharomyces yeasts (Kloeckera apiculata and Starmerella bacillaris) reached lower numbers of populations, no more than a few thousand cells per millilitre. The unusual weather conditions of this vintage also influenced the microbial populations present on grapes and, consequently, in the must.

The spontaneous fermentation process lasted about 2 weeks.


Turning malic acid, which is naturally present in wine, into lactic acid: with malolactic fermentation, performed by lactic acid bacteria, the wine takes on a softer taste and forms compounds that contribute to the natural maturation process of wine.


Malolactic fermentation began naturally, after racking, and lasted about 3 weeks. The dominant microbial species was Oenococcus oeni, the lactic acid bacteria that commonly performs malolactic fermentation in wine.


Once the fermentation stage was complete, the wine aged for about 47 months in large Slavonian oak barrels: it was a period of watchful waiting during which we performed chemical and microbiological analyses on a monthly basis, without observing any microbial activity or populations that might lead to irregularities.


Frequent controls significantly reduced human intervention: we only did racking and sulphiting when necessary, so as to keep our wine’s richness of taste as intact as possible.


No chemical-physical pretreatment, no clarification and/or filtration when the wine was bottled: in fact, the wine had stable chemical and microbiological values.

Once bottled, it rested in the cellar for 6 months before being released.


Some data at the time of bottling

  • Sulphite content about 40 mg/L of total SO2, much lower than the legal limit (maximum 150 mg/L);
  • absence of glucose and fructose, the same for malic acid, a sign that alcoholic and malolactic fermentation were carried out perfectly, a guarantee of the excellent stability of the wine in the bottle;
  • glycerol (which adds body and softness to the wine) with an average concentration of about 9 g/L, a high value;
  • a marked purplish ruby-red colour: perfectly consistent with what we expected from a wine made exclusively with Sangiovese grapes and aged for a long period of time.

Care and attention to detail are also crucial when storing a wine, which is why we know that the choice of bottle and cork are also fundamental.


Our special Bordeaux bottle series
The shape, colour, weight and proportions make our “Special series 15 Soldera Case Basse” 75 cl Bordeaux bottle the best one for our wine, even after several years.

This is all thanks to:

  • the double weight compared to normal bottles: with its 750 grams, it guarantees perfect insulation;
  • the colour: antique green is resistant to ultraviolet rays;
  • the ideal ratio between cork weight and volume to be filled inside the bottle neck;
  • the accentuated punt: the indentation at the bottom avoids any sediment or residue coming out. Our wines are never filtered.


The cork
We only use 26/50 mm corks, which guarantee a perfect match inside the neck of our Bordeaux bottle: every aspect of these very high-quality corks is meticulously selected.


Storage and serving temperature
Store the bottle vertically, at a temperature of 12°-16°C, in a well-ventilated environment with at least 70% humidity. Avoid sudden changes in temperature and direct sunlight.

We recommend serving our Toscana IGP Soldera Case Basse between 17° and 18°C, the ideal temperature for enjoying its aromas and taste.