Az. Agr. Le Tre Stelle
2004 Ciliegiolo Rosso Toscana IGT
Ciliegiolo • Rosso Toscana IGT (Super Tuscan)
What we say
Rare and Exclusive Wine Alert:
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Mission Codename: In Search of ‘SILLY JELL-O’
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Seek out the a wine from the elusive Ciliegiolo varietal.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Az. Agr. Le Tre Stelle
Wine Subject: 2004 Ciliegiolo Rosso Toscana IGT
Winemakers: The Three Stelle Women
Search for Ciliegiolo in the and you wont find it. Do a search for the Ciliegiolo on Google and you’ll find a single paragraph on Wikipedia. Try to find a wine from 100% Ciliegiolo and you might only find this one. Extremely rare, the Ciliegiolo varietal is primarily used as a lesser blending grape with Sangiovese in a few Super Tuscans. It is genetically related to Sangiovese. Hailing from the town of San Gimignano in the heart of Tuscany, this particular wine is a cult Super Tuscan and when you taste it you’ll know why. By the way, 2004 was a exceptional year, rated 94 Points for the vintage with a ‘drink/hold’ recommendation.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet ruby in color, pinkish hued edges, surprisingly clear (not inky like many of its Super Tuscan friends) with legs that streak down the side of the glass when swirled.
Smell – Profound and youthful, with aromas of tart black cherry against a backdrop of cocoa, oak, spicy black pepper and cinnamon.
Feel – Full-bodied, warm and intense and dry with firm tannins, a unique minerality that enhances the dryness and tannins with bright acidity.
Taste – Bold and uniquely tangy and concentrated black fruit, with that distinct Italian Super Tuscan wine zest that we love so much. Additional flavors of black pepper, cocoa, cedar box and tobacco are layered over a subtle earthiness that makes this wine well rounded.
Finish – Long, lingering and clean with flavors of its bold and tangy fruit and other flavor components with good acidity.
Conclusion – There is nothing silly about this 100% Ciliegiolo. While this wine is relatively young, tangy and zesty it is surprisingly well integrated with tons of layered flavors. This is a fun wine to drink and will complement a wide array of food. And like the women that make this wine, it is firm, bold and pulls no punches. Drink it now for a wine that explodes in your mouth with flavor or cellar it for a few years. Definitely let this wine open for an hour or decant it prior to enjoying it – and enjoy it you will!
After losing Agent Baco Noir’s trail and reacquiring it in the Marche region a few weeks back a new mystery emerged. Baco, in the way only she can, had lead us on a wild goose chase from winery to winery, but given the results, the wines that we were tasting along the way, nobody really minded.
Then everything got turned upside down.
Op Center had received a coded message saying ‘SEEK THE SILLY JELL-O’. When Agent Red mentioned this to me, I was immediately hit with a strange feeling. SILLY JELL-O had resonated in a strange way. Then I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Just days before, at Coquinarius (a great wine bar at the Piazza del Duomo) in Florence I was enjoying a glass of Reserve Chianti with Agent Stefy from another local winery that we will soon feature and Agent and Pilot No Bueno. I remember distinctly overhearing someone order a SILLY JELL-O (pronounced with a heavy Italian accent of course). Beyond the strangeness of the request, I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Now I knew there was a connection.
Going back the the Piazza del Duomo to do some recon I was able to pick up the trail. It lead just southwest of town to the village of San Gimignano. We settled in and began to scope out some of the local wine scene. Agent No Bueno, in her typical no B S manner, located a group of similarly bold women and began asking them questions about SILLY JELL-O. He paid not attention to discretion or keeping cover. No matter, at least I had some veil of plausible deniability.
It was only after meeting Donatella Rubicini that the mystery was uncovered.
‘Che è questa JELL-O che lei cerca?’, she asked
‘Abbiamo ricevuto un messaggio, ha detto la scoperta la JELL-O’, I responded
‘Oh, lei il Ciliegiolo vino medio!’, she laughed, ‘lasciarmi la mostra, seguirmi’
From there we headed to the farm of Le Tre Stelle where they presented us with a bottle of 2004 Ciliegiolo Rosso Toscana IGT.
Donatella’s sister Antonella and mother Maria came out and explained that Ciliegiolo is a very rare grape, in fact one of the rarest. It is bold and robust, and it makes a spectacularly delicious Super Tuscan.
SILLY JELL-O or CILIEGIOLO, I think I prefer the later.
This wine, however, is no mystery. It is hands down one of the more unique and fun wine drinking experiences I have had in a long time.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Le Tre Stelle farm can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Colour: Dense,almost black in colour
Smell: Rich fragrant nose with ripe cherry and plum flavour.
Spicy of tobacco and liquorice, vanilla and cinnamon. Chocolate and hint of coffee on the final.
Taste: Explosive and seductive wine. Rich and warmly intense, a serious wine with full-bodied concentration, firm but sweet tannins, Alcohol reinforce the richness. Extraordinary long finish. Powerful but elegant.Wonderful stuff. Drink or keep for 5 years.
Temperature: 18/19 °C uncorked twenty minutes before to taste.
To be served: Toasted bread with duck liver pate, home-made pasta tagliatelle with sauces of hare . Wildboar with black olives, stuffed pheasant, roasted roe-buck and celery. Very ripe cheese with honey and mustard. Ideal with chocolat cake and fruit cake.
About The Winery:
As clearly expressed by wine labels, LE TRE STELLE are three women, representing exactly the owners of the farm having the same name: two sisters (Antonella and Donatella) and their mother Maria.
In fact the farm was established in March 1998 by Antonella and Donatella who wanted to continue the wine growing and producing activity of their family, showing everybody the firmness and pride inspiring women’s soul.
About The Farm:
The farm LE TRE STELLE is located in the heart of Tuscany, at a distance of 2 km from Certaldo and about 8 km away from the famous towered village of San Gimignano. The farm, which lies in an excellent position for a relaxing holiday in close contact with nature, is strategically very near to the main art cities such as Florence (35 km), Pisa (50 km) and Siena (30 km) and also to the most important bathing establishments and spas.
The farm, located in a quiet position surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, was established in 1998 but, despite its recent setting up, is now a dynamic and versatile farm characterized by a strong devotion to the land and to the relevant agricultural produce. Here vines are cultivated with much attention and care to obtain the precious nectar, which represents the most important resource, followed by the production of extra-virgin olive oil and of other local products deeply rooted in the Middle Ages, such as saffron and Certaldo onions.
Since 1999 the farm holiday activity with restaurant service has been added as well. So, besides art attractions offered by this area, guests have also the opportunity of knowing another essential aspect of the Tuscan territory, that is to say our food-and-wine products. Here you can taste the local dishes of the Tuscan cooking prepared with healthy and genuine products: in fact vegetables are picked at the farm’s vegetable garden, small poultry (geese, ducks, rabbits, chickens, pigs, goats etc.) are bred at the farm, while new-laid eggs are used for preparing fancy omelettes with vegetables, delicious cakes, pies and fragrant tagliatelle.
About the Ciliegiolo Grape:
Tradition says that Ciliegiolo came to Italy from Spain, but the Florentine writer Soderini described a “Ciregiuolo dolce” in the 17th century that sounds very similar to Ciliegiolo. Ciliegiolo is not an easy grape to grow, suffering particularly from berry drop. The berries average 19.2mm long, 19.0mm wide, and weigh 3.68g. There are around 5000 hectares of Ciliegiolo in Italy, a figure that has been in steady decline. It is used in the wines from Torgiano Rosso Riserva, Parrina, Colli Lucchesi, Chianti, Val di Cornia, Golfo del Tigullio and Colli di Luni. – From Wikipedia
Grape variety: 100% ciliegiolo grapes
Vines pro hectare: 2800 (old vineyards) 4000 (new wineyards)
Land exposition: south-east
Ground: medium mixture ,especially clavey-argillous soil
Pruning system: “guyot”
Avarage age of wineyards: 20years old
Harvest time: end September-beginning of october
Harvest: by hand in plastic basket
Bottle production: 4500
Fermentation vat: vetrified cement cask
Malolactic Fermentation: yes in barriques
Fermentation: 15/20 days at 28°C
Maturation: twelve months in French oak cask of 225 liter
Ripening: minimum 4 months in bottle
Alcohol: % vol 14
Total acidity: g/l 5,5 Dry extract: 33
Volatile acidity: g/l 0,55 Total polifenoli: 2950