La Porta di Vertine | Estate winery in Località Vertine, a locality (‘frazione’) in the commune of Gaiole-in-Chianti in the Chianti Classico DOCG region of Tuscany, Italy. In 2006 Dan and Ellen Lugosch acquired the estate, its house and vineyards from the previous owner who had already been making wine.
Owner | Bought by Russian importer Simple in 2017. The Russian owner of nearby Riecine may also be involved. The new owners appointed Stéphane Derenoncourt of Bordeaux as oenologist.
Staff | Giacomo Mastretta, La Porta di Vertine’s director and oenologist. “I’m not from a family of growers, so I never worked in Piedmont I actually left to study winemaking, and I got my diploma in Montpellier, France. When I came back to Italy, I had a chance to go to Tuscany. There are a lot of similarities between Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, for example. I think that from my Piedmont heritage I get my love for acidity and my love for this kind of bright wine. For me, a wine never has too much acid,” he says (grapecollective interview).
Vineyards | After acquiring the original vineyard in Località Vertine ‘Dan and Ellen Lugosch bought 7 ha (17 acres) of vines from Castello di Ama. | 2011 10ha of estate vines and 9ha of leased, old vines.
Vineyards–Conca d’Oro di Vertine | In Vertine, in Gaiole in Chianti. 500 metres. South to south west. Amphitheatre with steep slopes. Soils with a high rock content: galestro and alberese. 2.7ha in total. 2ha of Sangiovese, and 0.7ha of Cabernet and Merlot. All planted 2002. 6,250 vines/ha.
Vineyards–Campino dei Visconti | There are two plots, one below the Vertine vineyard in the alluvial cone of the Conca d’Oro. 460 metres. South to south west. 2.5ha. Gentle slope surrounded by stone walled terraces. Soils with a medium-high rock content consisting of weathered shale (galestro) and limestone (alberese). Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Nera. Planted 1970s. 3,500 vines/ha. This will be grubbed and replanted with Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Malvasia Nera. The other plot on stone walled terraces will have the terraces restored, and the vines will be replaced with Sangiovese (alberello).
Vineyards–Campacci (or Adine) | In Adine in the western sector of Gaiole in Chianti. 520 metres (high for Sangiovese). South-southwest. 4.6ha, two parcels on separate terraces. Terraced vineyard shielding by surrounding forest. Soil with a very high rock content, mainly limestone (alberese). Warm soil said to offset the altitude of the vineyard. Sangiovese, Pugnitello, Colorino, Merlot, Planted 2003. 5,000 vines/ha.
Vineyards–Excalibur | In Vertine in the eastern sector of Gaiole in Chianti. 500 metres. West-facing slope with stone terraces with a high rock and stone content. Limestone (alberese) and shale (galestro). 1.5ha. Sangiovese.
Vineyards–Colli ai Lecci | In San Gusmè, in Castelnuovo Berardenga. 430 metres. East, south and west. Sandy soils with medium to high rock content of sandstone and limestone. 9.65ha of land of which 5ha of Sangiovese planted @ 3,500 vines/ha mid-1960s and older producing minute quantities of very concentrated grapes. First used in the Chianti Classico in 2008. Also 4.65ha of Sangiovese planted 1997-2003 @ 5,000 vines/ha.
Vineyards–Sassi Chiusi | When the estate was founded, the Vertine and Adine vineyards had already been planted with a few rows of both French grapes. These were not used in the Chianti Classico but were bottled apart as a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend called Sassi Chiusi (1,500 bottles), below.
Winemaking | The late Giulio Gambelli was the oenological consultant for the first two vintages (2006 & 2007).
Chianti Classico DOCG, La Porta di Vertine | 2006 The 2006 vintage is the first and last in which the international varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, were blended in as their tiny volume in 2006 did not permit a separate bottling. Fermented in stainless steel (38hl) and concrete (10hl). | 2007 Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, Pugnitello. From the Conca d’Oro vineyard in Vertine and the Campacci vineyard in Adine. | 2008 Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, Pugnitello. This is the first vintage in which Sangiovese fruit was harvested from the Colle ai Lecci property and blended into the wines. Typical Chianti nose, bit of herb (Millésime Bio 2012).
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, La Porta di Vertine | 2006 100% Sangiovese from the Conca d’Oro and the Campino die Visconti vineyards in Vertine. | 2007 100% Sangiovese from Campacci in Adine and Conca d’Oro in Vertine. | 2008 Made from the best selection of Sangiovese from the Vertine, Adine and Colle ai Lecci vineyards. Vinification broadly resembles that of the Chianti Classico, with very little handling and no addition of either sulphur nor yeast. The Riserva is not a vineyard selection but a cellar selection, in which the best wines end up in the Riserva blend. Rich, thick, and a bit too ripe for me (RAW 2012).
Toscana Rosso IGT, Sassi Chiusi | Sassi Chiusi is La Porta di Vertine’s Cabernet Sauvignon–Merlot blend. ‘We found these Merlot vines already planted at the estate,’ says Giacomo Mastretta. ‘I didn’t want to blend them in the Chianti and the Riserva. I knew that I would produce an IGT wine. Usually, the Merlot in Chianti grows well in very clay soil, and we didn’t have much clay in our soil. Then, I was surprised about the quality of the wine, so I think we managed to have the same effect of the clay, which, for me, is to delay maturation. I have a Merlot that is more complex with the altitude. Then, because we don’t have much clay, we have very tiny berries with hardly any juice. From that, probably, comes the concentration, so we could manage to find this original combination that makes an interesting wine,’ Giacomo Mastretta (grapecollective interview). | 2007 Ripe blackcurrants (RAW 2012). | 2008 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet.
Organic certification | 2007 30% of the estate vines began conversion to organics (with Ruggero Mazzilli consulting).
La Porta di Vertine
Loc. Casanuova di Paiolo, I-53013 Gaiole in Chianti (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 0577.749577 | www.laportadivertine.it