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The Ruspoli family have a long history of aristocracy in Italy. In 1708, Pope Clement XI gifted the principality of Cerveteri to the Ruspoli, in gratitude for them having assigned to the defence of the papal state, their own regiment of soldiers. The history of the property dates back to the middle ages. In those days, it was a fortified complex. Over the years, it was owned by a Marquis, an Abbey, and a Hospital. It survived wars between localities, and two world wars. In 1920, it was purchased by the Princess Elenora Ruspoli Berlingieri. In 1958, the Princess began bottling wine. She had the foresight to recruit Giulio Gambelli, considered the greatest Sangiovese whisperer of his time. Today, her descendants, Giulio and Pietro Ruspoli own and operate the property, and since 1989, Giulio is the manager. Today, Stefano Porcinai is the vineyard manager, while Lorenzo Landi works in the winery.

 

The Lilliano estate sits in an ideal microclimate within Chianti Classico. Here, the daytime temperatures are sufficient for sugar and tannic ripeness. Night time temperatures slow down the process, and keep the acids high and lively. Rainfall is exactly enough, without being problematically excessive.  The soils throughout much of the estate is Alberese, a specific type of marly limestone, with heavier stone deposits. These soils are ideal for decelerating development, resulting in fresh wines. Sangiovese grown here is sublime. The higher daytime temperatures, along with the clay soils add potency, while lime aids in liveliness, and collectively all of this is a conduit for the grapes’ natural positive traits.

 

There are three distinct vineyards which total 40 hectares. Le Piagge is all Sangiovese, and offers southern exposures, and sits at 300 meters above sea level. Casina Sopra Strada is Sangiovese and Colorino. With an east southeast exposure, it too sits around 300 meters above sea level. Finally, Vigna Catena, which is planted to Merlot, is south southwest facing, and averages 280 meters above sea level.

 

Lilliano has two cellars. The historic cellar under the villa is for aging. The second facility was built in 1978, and houses concrete tanks and stainless steel containers, and is essentially for wine making.

 

Chianti Classico DOCG

 

This is 90% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino, and 5% Merlot.. After harvest and destemming, the must is fermented in termperature controlled stainless steel vats for two and a half weeks, with regular punchdowns and pumpovers. Maceration is for two and a half weeks, depending on the vintage. Malolactic fermentation is done in concrete and small temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is aged for 12 to 14 months, partly in French oak, and partly in concrete. Finally, after blending, the wine is bottle aged for 3 months prior to release. This wine is profoundly red in all areas. Think Burgundy. Although from nose to palate this is distinctly old world, there is ample fruit; various cherries, kirsch, red plums, strawberries, cola, and all types of spices and herbs.  Drink with roasted poultry, lean steaks, or a plate of charcuterie.

 

T Anagallis

 

This is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot. Once harvested, destemmed, and crushed, the wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Maceration is for 25 days, followed by malolactic fermentation in stainless steel. The wine is then aged for 14 months in Allier and Nevers French oak. The wine is then blended in a single tank, followed by 6 months of bottle aging prior to release.  This Super Tuscan perfectly brings Italian nuance and old world charm, to a classic Bordeaux blend. The would be perfect with a thick, smoked, rib eye, a pure of broccoli and aged cheddar, and mashed potatoes drenched in a wild mushroom demi glace.  

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