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February 25, 2014

Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 2011

“Quite honestly, I had a hard time getting to sleep the night I tasted these wines. They were that viscerally thrilling. Le Pergole Torte isn’t a great Tuscan or Italian wine. It is simply one of the world’s elite wines.”

Antonio Galloni

Tuscan 2011 vintage
The 2010 Tuscany vintage has been a huge success, critically acclaimed and hugely popular amongst collectors, restaurants and investors. Today marks the start of the 2011 Tuscany vintage with the release of the great Montevertine Le Pergole Torte. Producers and the leading critics already regard 2011 to be on par or very close to the great 2010s, Jancis Robinson has declared that ‘quality is very promising’. The yields in 2011 are 14% down on 2010, which was a cooler vintage. 2011 saw a hot growing season in Tuscany, April was cooler than normal but a heat wave arrived from Africa in August. Reports suggest a very ripe vintage, displaying some of the fleshiness of 2009, yet the leading estates have retained the freshness and balance of the 2010s due to their wonderful terroir and positioning.

It is important to differentiate Super Tuscans from other wines of the region. The largest quantity of the leading Super Tuscans come from Bolgheri. Vineyards here benefit from the breeze and proximity to the Tyrrhenian Sea and of course their altitude. Altitude is key in a warm climate and helps with production of acidity, balance and phenolic ripeness, every 100 metre rise in altitude equates to 0.65° drop in temperature.

Other leading Super Tuscans are found in the Chianti Classico region at great altitude: Tignanello and Montevertine Le Pergole Torte are located in the Chianti Classico a region placed equidistantly between Sienna and Florence. Tignanello is found 350-450 feet above sea level and Montevertine Le Pergole Torte is located in Radda, a district at the very heart of Chianti. Their vineyards are found on the highest altitude in the region, thus benefiting from a cooler temperature which helps the wine retain a wonderful freshness and balance. Taken together Tignanello and Le Pergole Torte represents the best of the Sangiovese grape, which lends itself well to the warmer weather inland.

Unlike Tignanello (85% Sangiovese) Le Pergole Torte is 100% Sangiovese, the wine is vinified in cement tanks, then aged first in French oak and then cask. Production is more akin to Pomerol with only 1,500 cases on average made per year. The purity of fruit is remarkable, it is structured, concentrated and possibly the most refined expression of Sangiovese in the world. It is less rustic and more precise than Tignanello and drinks well young, yet lasts for three decades.

Le Pergole Torte continues to be made with the passion and precision laid down by Sergio Manetti, an Italian steel magnate who bought the property in 1967. They maintain a regional typicity, refusing to plant international varieties, expressing Sangiovese with intense character and in terms of its powerful structure it is in a league of its own. Le Pergole Torte is only made in exceptional years and the labels, designed by Alberto Manfredi, vary from year to year. The labels like the wine are exquisite, using a variant of a ladies profile.

Le Pergole Torte is unquestionably one of the leading Super Tuscans, a genus that has solidified their place among the greatest wines in the world. Despite a steady rise in price over the last five year, the Liv-ex Super Tuscan index has risen over 90%, the wines remain extremely competitively priced, offering a better value versus quality ratio than the leading Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. Antonio Galloni has already scored Ornellaia 2011 96+, while the second wines of the leading estates scored amongst their highest ever in 2011. With 2011 heralded as a superb vintage, one can expect Le Pergole Torte’s score to be in line with 2009 and 2010.

Le Pergole Torte vintage comparison 95 pts > (6×75)
2011       N/A        £330
2010       95+         £330
2009       96           £365
2007       98+         £475
2006       98+         £450
2004       97           £500
2001       97           £750

Since 2008 the average price Le Pergole Torte have increased over 50% and prices rise quickly after a few years in bottle. Tignanello make over 20,000 cases a year, while La Pergola Torte made less than 1,300 cases this year. For £55 a bottle this is an exceptional wine that rivals the other great wines of the world. There is a lot of incentive to buy the wine on release and take advantage of the rise and rise of the great Super Tuscans.

6×75 – £330 IB or £410.40 including duty and VAT
1×150 – £150 IB or £184.80 including duty and VAT
Le Pergole Torte provides an incredible silkiness, sweet cherries, kirsch, rose petals, spice, cigar box and mint in its youth. With age it developes notes of candy, chocolate, leather, incense and Porcini mushroom. 2011 Le Pergole Torte will be a truly thrllling wine.

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