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Teresa Manara Chardonnay “Dieci Settembre” (“September 10”)

September 10 was a particularly meaningful date in the 2013 harvest: It was the date we picked the last bunches of our Chardonnay. We harvested them just as they were enjoying the last rays of summer sunlight and the cool mornings that announce the arrival of fall.

This day was also the culmination of a patient wait that had been devoted to the grapes in a small zone in our Teresa Manara vineyard. The area is remarkable for its perfect soil and climate. The limestone-rich earth is medium-compact with great drainage. And so it’s ideal for late-ripening the bunches on the vine, a natural process aided by the wind and carried out with great patience.

The breeze is always an invisible player in the phases that precede the harvest. It’s an essential element in allowing the grapes to reach and surpass their physiological ripeness while still perfectly healthy and intact. It helps to give this wine its unmistakable aromatic character.

It was only natural that we would use the harvest date as the name of this wine. It’s the latest in a line of labels conceived to honor a woman who remains a beacon for our family: Teresa Manara.

The grapes for this wine are hand-harvested and placed in small crates. They are delicately pressed so that their golden skins won’t impart color to the must, which is chilled to 10° C. so that the wine will undergo natural clarification. The first phase of alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless-steel vats at a constant temperature of 18° C. The fermenting must is then transferred to barriques where fermentation is completed. Once complete, the wine ages on its lees in French barriques for roughly 12 months.

Good taste is worth waiting for…

Appellation: I.G.T. Salento.

Grape: 100 percent Chardonnay.

Production area: Guagnano (Lecce).

Training: Guyot (5,000 plants per hectare).

Harvest date: September 10, 2013.

Vinification: The grapes for this wine are hand-harvested and placed in small crates. They are delicately pressed so that their golden skins won’t impart color to the must, which is chilled to 10° C. so that the wine will undergo natural clarification. The first phase of alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless-steel vats at a constant temperature of 18° C. The fermenting must is then transferred to barriques where fermentation is completed. Once complete, the wine ages on its lees in French barriques for roughly 12 months.

Aging: Once fermentation is complete, the wine ages on its lees in French oak barriques for roughly 12 months.

Cellar potential: Drink now or age up to 8-10 years.

Color: Translucent golden yellow.

Nose: Robust, fresh notes of lime, grapefruit, yellow orange, and lime tree.

Palate: A soft white that rides on refreshing acidity. Thirst-quenching but full-bodied and confident with notes of yellow peach, acacia honey, raw almonds, and hazelnut. The finish delivers an intensely salty, passionate Mediterranean flourish.

Pairing: Ideal for risotto and white meats. Perfect for seafood and smoked meats. And with a few years of aging, this wine will work well with herbed cheeses. Serve at 14° C (57° F.).

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