- Cortona, Tuscany, Italy
Some of the most remarkable Syrah being made today comes from a hilly area in southern Tuscany called Chiuso di Cortona. The area, due west of Siena and almost at the border with Umbria, is no stranger to international varieties, having been subject to Napoleonic occupation in the late 18th century. This was codified in 1999 with the creation of the Cortona DOC, which focused on Syrah as a noteworthy grape for the zone.
Stefano Amerighi, the young and dynamic owner of this eponymous estate, has a beautiful cru called Poggiobello di Farneta. The site was chosen and planted to Syrah in 2002 after an in-depth geological investigation identified eight hectares of land well-suited to the grape. It was the ideal exposure; southeast facing, and the ideal soil; a mix of clay, silt, chalk and a thriving base of microorganisms. Stefano planted the vines to a high density of 7000 plants per hectare and adhered to biodynamic principles in the vineyard. In the winery, the a portion of the Syrah grapes are partially de-stemmed, while some are left whole and still others are lightly foot pressed. Fermentation occurs spontaneously in small concrete vats and without the use of pumps, sulphur or temperature control. The wine is then allowed to clarify naturally in a combination of wood and cement tanks, where they are kept for 14 months before bottling. The resulting wine is sensational, with signature notes of black olive, cassis and minerals on the nose and an elegant mouthfeel. This is a game-changer for the zone.
Stefano Amerighi Syrah is Demeter certified.