Sarteano, Tuscany

Tenuta di Trinoro

Tenuta di Trinoro sits in viticultural isolation in a valley just west of the Florence-Rome autostrada near Sarteano where Tuscany meets Umbria and Lazio. Franchetti describes it as 'a godforsaken place on the east of the first limestone mountain north of Rome with an ex-volcano between it and the sea'. The 600-metre high Monte Amiata protects Franchetti's vines and the sheep so that summers are hot and there are still leaves on the trees in December. 'The weather swirls round us,' according to Franchetti who is glad to leave his grapes long on the vine, building up the extra layers of flavour so beloved by modern wine lovers.

Franchetti fervently believes that the most complex and expressive wines he makes are those that are blends of the four main varietals he grows on the property: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Franchetti no longer produces his Palazzi (Merlot and Cabernet Franc) and Cincinnato (Cesanese d’Affile) bottlings because he found himself bored by those wines. In addition to Tenuta di Trinoro there is a second wine, Le Cupole di Trinoro, which is made from the barrels that aren’t deemed to be of the exacting quality Franchetti requires for his ‘Grand Vin’ and which is priced much more accessibly.

The vines are planted at altitudes ranging from 500 to 700 meters using a high density of approximately 9,000 plants per hectare, which was very unusual for Tuscany when the first plots were planted in 1992. The soils at Trinoro are quite poor, which along with the tight spacing stresses the vines and encourages them to develop stronger, deeper root systems. Franchetti classifies the soils at Trinoro into two major sub-divisions, using the St. Emilion terms “côtes” and “graves” to differentiate between the soils which are composed primarily of clay and limestone on the upper ridges and the more gravelly terrain which is found on the lower portions of the vineyards. Yields are extremely low and range from 15 to 26 quintals per hectare, depending on the vintage. Franchetti remains deeply influenced by the wines of Bordeaux, and many of his cuttings come from some of that region’s top estates, such as Vieux Chateaux Certan, which is the source of his Cabernet Franc.

Franchetti favors late harvests that push ripeness to the extreme. This is clearly a high-stakes approach to winemaking as the likelihood of rain and other inclement conditions increases as the harvest season moves into the Fall. Franchetti typically picks his Merlot in beginning of October while the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot are usually picked towards the end of the month, although in some years, such as 2004, the harvest can stretch into November. Because of the extended growing season at Trinoro, the quality of the harvested fruit varies quite a bit from year to year, as does the final blend of the wine.

Tenuta di Trinoro is remarkably direct and appetising. It is not like red bordeaux but is much more complex than most Italian Bordeaux blends. Like them it qualifies not for any DOC but is sold as an IGT, a wine with an Indicazione Geografica Tipica of Toscana - not that there is anything remotely typical about this wine. It has been treated to every rich winemaker's plaything: tiny yields; the strictest selection (hence the appearance of a second wine); top-quality oak used in abundance to give it longevity; some tricky malolactic fermentation in barrel to soften it; a touch of micro-oxygenation to keep it fresh.

In the cellar Franchetti favors small fermentation tanks which allow him to vinify each parcel separately. The wines are vinified using indigenous yeasts and undergo varying fermentation/maceration times that can last a few days or as much as a few months, as Franchetti often leaves a small portion (around 15%) of the wine in contact with the skins for several months. Walking through the cellar in late 2006 I tasted many small lots from barrel, many of which had already been selected for the Tenuta. Franchetti employs
100% new French oak for the Tenuta and the period of barrel aging varies from year to year. The wines are not filtered but do undergo a slight egg-white clarification prior to being bottled.

Wines Tenuta di Trinoro

Wine Region Vintage Unit Price/unit
Wine Toscana Igt Le Cupole di Trinoro sdl Region Tuscany Vintage 2000 Unit 1.5lt Price/unit 130.00€
Tipe RED WA 92 WS - Avail 1 INFO BUY
Wine Toscana Igt Trinoro Region Tuscany Vintage 2000 Unit 0.75lt Price/unit 215.00€
Tipe RED WA 95 WS 90 Avail 1 INFO BUY
Wine Toscana Igt Campo di Tenaglia Region Tuscany Vintage 2016 Unit 0.75lt Price/unit 69.00€
Tipe RED WA - WS - Avail 6 INFO BUY
Wine Toscana Igt Trinoro Region Tuscany Vintage 2016 Unit 0.75lt Price/unit 230.00€
Tipe RED WA - WS 96 Avail 6 INFO BUY
Wine Toscana Igt Le Cupole di Trinoro Region Tuscany Vintage 2017 Unit 0.75lt Price/unit 24.90€
Tipe RED WA - WS - Avail 8 INFO BUY
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