Making wine in honor of her father, Severio, who passed some years ago, Olimpia Roberti and her enologist, Lorenzo Landi, have set about making a series of highly traditional wines in the storied town of Montepulciano. Located at the foot of the hill, just 2 km below the village proper, her family's vines grow at an average of 350 meters in a mix of sand and clay. "The soil is originally Pliocene," she says, "and in particular has been derived from ancient sands." Heady enough for you? Well, that intellect comes as no surprise, as Olimpia originally started a career as an eigth-generation attorney before falling permanently in in love with the vine... and now she applies both that savvy and a solid work ethic to her new, artisanal trade!
Cultivating two clones of Sangiovese (both the local strain Prugnolo Gentile alongside Sangiovese F9), the Roberti family has dense plantings - 6500 vines per hectare - and an exposition that ranges from NE to SW. From stem to stern, virtually everything about Le Bertille's Vino Nobile in particular is exceedingly traditional. The tannins are bold and dusty, the acidic structure formidable, and the fruit - while bursting with delicious dark cherry - is always kept in check. In addition, Olimpia prides herself on maintaining lower sulfite levels (coming in at 80 ppm versus the 150 permitted under the DOCG). "If grapes get overripe," she says, "more sulfites are required, so picking on time and by hand are both key." Lastly, while it is certainly more affordable and convenient to use steel for fermentation (and many modern wineries do), Olimpia prefers to go the old-school route and ferment her Vino Nobile in conical-shaped vats of Slovenian oak. This is a considerably more expensive and labor intensive option, but in the end it lends greater structure and ageability to the wine. A fine tribute, we feel, both to her father who started Le Bertille and to the rich, historical precedent set forth in Montepulciano!
- Lorenzo Landi
- Grapes Grown by Winery
- Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Mammolo, Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile and F9)
- Vineyard Size
- 15.0 ha
- Olimpia Roberti
- Winemaker Biography
- Forsaking a career as an eigth-generation attorney, winemaker Olimpia Roberti has recently turned all her attentions to the family's 15-hectare estate in the Tuscan town of Montepulciano. Although their first official bottling came in 2006, Olimpia has a natural-born sensibility when it comes to making old-school Vino Nobile... and more than enough tenacity to get the job done!
- Winemaker Generation