Tauleto is produced from grapes grown on the estate property of the same name. Purchased more than thirty years ago by Umberto Cesari, it was in the past rich in surface aquifers, which today are strata of rich humus. This is the reason that for years now we have utilised that property for experimentation, in collaboration with the Crop Sciences Department of the University of Bologna. Today the beneficiary of this fertile site’s ideal southwest aspect is a vineyard planted to Sangiovese Grosso.
The Podere Tauleto, one of the winery’s smallest but most fertile parvels, is planted to the native grape Sangiovese Grosso.
The superb Sangiovese Grosso grapes growing on this property produce Tauleto.
Winter brought very little rainfall, nor was the snow enough to replenish groundwater reserves; in addition, May and June were mild, with no rain, which contributed to the vines’ water deficit, and a very hot summer continued into September, which was quite unusual. Thus, exceptional measures had to be taken, such as leaf-pulling, precision irrigation, and radical cluster-thinning. Another consequence of such a season was the brief duration of the harvest, since all the grapes were in by the end of September. In the end, the 2011 weather conditions brought clusters that were smaller than usual but with significant concentration, therefore a lower crop and a lower fruit-to-wine ratio.
Tauleto 2011 immediately evidences a highly-concentrated colour and a complex, multi-faced nose; rich notes of dried plum preserve and dark cherry marry to more evolved impressions of vanilla and roast espresso bean. In the mouth, it is self-confident and full-bodied, yet refined and elegant at the same time. Although the tannins are smooth and supple, the lovely minerality that is classic to this wine is on full display.
Severe temperatures and heavy snowfalls in winter delayed bud-break. Shoot growth was initially encouraged by favourable spring temperatures, but was then slowed by heavy rains and a sudden drop in temperature in June, and then July brought in very high levels of heat. These conditions resulted in a slowdown of some 15 days compared to normal development, and a light leaf-pulling and selective cluster-thinning were required to put growth back on track. Finally, in order to bring in grapes with consistent ripeness levels, multi-passage harvesting had to be carried out, often within the same parcel.
The hallmark of Tauleto 2010 is without doubt its refinement. It is characterised by its intense red tonality and by its cleanly-contoured notes of wild red berry and vanilla, which conclude with a lovely, smooth toastiness. Those same fragrances segue onto the palate, which exhibits an impressive harmony of all components, in particular a crisp acidity and tangy, succulent fruit. Overall, a wine of surprising elegance.
The lengthy winter brought bud-break back to its normal period, in the second half of April. Rains in May and June rebuilt groundwater reserves, while sun-filled days in July imparted a good thrust to vine development. Continuing high temperatures made cluster-thinning an absolute must in early August, to restore perfect fruit-canopy balance. Thanks to magnificent weather in September and October, the grapes came in fully ripe, during the first ten days of October.
Hence, Tauleto 2009 exhibits outstanding quality, with a near-opaque red and a nose that effortlessly melds fruit and spice into a perfect duet. The palate is surprising for its length and complexity, and elegant tannins contribute to a full body and impressive length.
Low temperatures during the winter brought forward bud-break by a week, and spring rains further stimulated growth, making constant canopy-management even more crucial. A difficult fruit-set because of poor weather actually became a positive factor, since the clusters emerged looser. Beginning in June, weather conditions stabilised, but scarce groundwater reserves, a heritage of a very dry 2007 season, compelled recourse to emergency irrigation and significant cluster-thinning. Careful monitoring of the fruit during the summer made it possible to select the appropriate moment to start the harvest, which was about one week later than the previous year.
The 2008 harvest brought in superbly-ripe, concentrated grapes, and Tauleto 2008 reflects this, with its impenetrable, dense red colour and very distinctive, complex nose. A delicate veil of vanilla enfolds notes of ripe red berry and berry preserves. It is full-volumed and multi-layered in the mouth, very elegant, with fine-grained, glossy tannins that heighten the wine’s ready approachability and augur a remarkable cellarability.
The 2007 vintage will certainly be remembered in Italy as one of the lightest crops over the last 50 years, as well as one of the driest seasons, since the preceding winter brought very little rainfall. Warm weather in the spring and a lack of rain presaged a difficult year and an early-paced growth cycle, right from bud-break. Vineyard operation in Tauleto focused on leaving just the correct amount of foliar surface for a satisfactory ripening process, as well as on limiting transpiration and moderating water stress, which began to appear in early July. Constant hot winds further complicated the situation, although precision irrigation mitigated its effects. Cluster-thinning, which had been expected because of the early pace of each stage of development, was crucial in order to obtain a good balance of components in the juice at harvest. Picking concluded 15-20 days earlier than in past seasons.
The deep concentration in Tauleto 2007 necessitated longer maturation and bottle-ageing periods to ensure immediate approachability, but the side benefit was improved cellarability. It is near-opaque in appearance, and full-bodied and seductive in the mouth.
Abundant spring rains stimulated a vigorous start to vine development, with a perfectly normal bud-break; the high number of shoots and clusters needed to be remediated immediately by shoot-thinning. July ushered in high heat, with temperatures exceeding 32°C, slowing photosynthesis, and therefore vine growth and evolution of the fruit. A cluster-thinning in early August was crucial to ward off excessive stress and to favour an appropriate ripening momentum for the grapes for Tauleto. September and October brought fine weather, so the harvest was pushed back, in order to take full advantage of the fine conditions.
Tauleto 2006 exhibits outstanding balance and proportion, with a magisterial structure and an impressively continuous development from nose through finish.
Winter was severe, with plentiful snowfalls. The cold lasted right up to the start of spring, which significantly delayed bud-break. Rain in May and June, along with good groundwater reserves, brought vigour to the vines, which in turn sparked interventions to keep it in check. This was particularly true in the Tauleto vineyard, which was suckered, followed by heavy leaf-pulling during flowering and fruit-set, with the objective of obtaining looser, well-ventilated clusters. July and August were sunny, but temperatures were only moderate, hardly ever reaching 30°C; these conditions favoured satisfactory photosynthesis, but to achieve good concentration in Tauleto a careful cluster-thinning operation reduced the crop load. Thanks to relatively moderate temperatures, ripening was consistent and gradual, and harvesting of Tauleto took place within the normal time-frame.
Fruit-quality was the stand-out hallmark of this vintage, and bleeding-off during fermentation contributed to the wine’s superb structure.
After two difficult years (2002 and 2003), 2004 saw the return of a more normal growing year, which produced one of the finest vintages of Tauleto.
Heavy rains in the winter restored groundwater reserves that had been depleted by the hot, dry 2003 summer, thus fuelling fine growth development. Below-average spring temperatures, however, delayed flowering and caused heterogeneous pollination of the flowers, which similarly impacted ripening. Summer did not bring excessively high temperatures, except in some brief periods, and even those conditions were offset by significant day-night temperature differentials. Veraison began perhaps a few days late compared to the norm, and we tried to put off the harvest as long as possible, in order to allow the grapes to fully mature, given the differences that were evident right from flowering onwards. Since exposure to sun was not excessive, light leaf-pulling and cluster-thinning were enough to achieve the quality levels required to produce Tauleto.
This season’s resultant wine was of superb quality, showing fine structure and succulent fruit.
As in past seasons, vine growth proceeded with perfect normality. Rising temperatures in August on the one hand favoured the accumulation process; on the other, it caused high transpiration, with excessive concentration of the juice in the berries, reducing the grape-to-wine ratio. Temperatures were milder in September, and there was some rain, which restored vigour to the grapes and helped re-balance the pulp. Since weather conditions were good, the start of harvest was determined by ripeness levels, utilising analyses of the juice until the desired levels were achieved.
The outstanding qualities of this great red are perceivable above all in its pronounced aromatics and full-volumed palate.
The weather conditions were ideal through the end of July, favouring vine development. Growth was vigorous, and leaf-pulling and cluster-thinning were practised, since the clusters that will produce Tauleto need adequate sun and ventilation in order to be healthy and to ripen as long as possible on the vine. Exceptional heat in August caused water and thermal stress in the vines, so cluster-thinning was performed in the Tauleto vineyards in order to limit stress and bring the vines back into balance and so that ripening could proceed unimpeded. Brief rains in early September were providential, since they made it possible for the vines to recover a measure of physiological vigour and complete the final stages of ripening, important for achieving good levels of aromas and pigment compounds.
The quality of Tauleto is perfectly in line with expectations, with the succulent fruit and complex aromatics that are the hallmarks of moderately hot seasons.
Thanks to ideal weather conditions, the vine growth cycle proceeded normally until late July, but rains in August and September risked compromising the final stages of the ripening process. To counteract this situation, significant cluster-thinning and leaf-pulling were performed, particularly in the vineyards dedicated to the production of Tauleto. The crop in those parcels was down at harvest, but from a quality point of view the grapes were fully ripe and healthy.
Since the grapes were in excellent condition, we were able to delay the harvest, which further improved the quality of the grapes, yielding a wine of great depth and complex aromatics.
Sakura - Japan Women's Wine Award
Prize: Gold medal
Luca Maroni - Annuario 2017
Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition 2016
Prize: Silver medal
Sélections Mondiales des Vins 2016
Prize: Gold medal
Mundus Vini 2016
Prize: Gold medal
TASTED Journal 2016
International Wine Challenge 2015
Prize: Silver medal
International Wine and Spirit Competition 2015
Prize: Silver medal
Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition 2015
Prize: Silver medal
Bibenda Vini d’Italia 2015
Prize: 5 Bunches
Sélections Mondiales des Vins 2015
Prize: Gold medal