Paris, June 27, 2017
PODERE FORTE AT THE SUR MESURE** BY THIERRY MARX
Podere Forte hosted a vertical tasting of its three iconic wines during the second stage of the ‘Ambassador Tour’. Altogether, there will be 30 stages in 30 of the world’s finest restaurants that will subsequently have the privilege and guarantee of securing an allocation of wines of the highest quality crafted on a boutique scale.
PASQUALE FORTE’S VISION
Podere Forte was created in 1997 following the purchase of an ancient property, ‘Petruccio’, in Castiglione d’Orcia. It encapsulates the vision of Pasquale Forte in an unspoilt part of Tuscany – listed as a Unesco heritage site since 2004 – not far from the renowned villages of Montalino and Montepulciano.
He was privileged to be able to start producing wines from the ground up, involving soil studies and recovery, selection of plant material and sustainable winery design, for instance.
RESPECT FOR NATURE COMBINED WITH CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY
The farm is self-sufficient based on biodynamic, full circle principles with cereal crops, Chianina cows – the ones served as Florentine beefsteak – the native Cinta Senese pig, bee hives, Suffolk ewes and poultry for instance, producing ‘home-grown’ manure that is geared to the needs of each individual vineyard.
In the winery and out in the vineyard, cutting-edge technology is used to guarantee the quality of the fruit and improve soil life: drone technology, lightweight machinery with caterpillar tracks, sorting table with a continuously washed conveyor belt and whole-berry fermentation to reduce the amount of insoluble tannins in the pips, for instance.
FUTURE PLANS: Alongside the semi-sparkling, Pinot Noir-based rosé Asia, a new project for making sparkling wine from Greco di Tufo should enhance social and cultural life in the area.
FACTS & FIGURES
19 ha of vineyards, 12 bearing
Hours’ work: 1,630 h/ha/yr!
Certifications: Organic since 2008 and Demeter biodynamic since the 2011 vintage
Varietal range: Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir and Greco di Tufo.
Soil types: Schist and limestone with rocks near the surface.
Yields: 25-35 hl/ha depending on the vineyards
Consultants & experts: Donato Lanati (winemaker), L&C Bourguignon (soils), Simonit & Sirch (pruning) and Prof Attilio Scienza (varietal range).
TASTING NOTES AND FOOD PAIRINGS
PETRUCCINO 2014 Orcia DOC (60% S, 40% M) Organic + Demeter. 15,000 bottles
Made from the estate’s youngest vineyards and richest soils, this is a very pleasant wine with an assertive personality. Deeply-coloured with a nose of black cherry and red rose with smoky undertones and Indian ink. The attack is ample with pronounced freshness and an explosion of fruit.
Food pairings: The one that’s always challenging, chorizo in paella for a Spaniard – the wine overshadows the fruit.
PETRUCCIO 2008 Organic and 2006 Orcia DOC (100% Sangiovese) – 3-4,000 bottles.
The 2008 Petruccio was a top vintage, with a rendition of Sangiovese mirroring the elegance of the great Burgundy growths. Garnet with a floral nose showing balsamic undertones. Beautiful acidity balanced by an upfront but soft structure.
Food pairings: The finesse of the wine goes well with that of the turbot and the tannins with the olive powder.
The 2006 has a less focused nose and deeper colour. It is warm and more masculine with spices and tobacco. Works well with an interesting contrast of turbot and poultry juices.
GUARDIAVIGNA 2013 Toscana IGT (44 CF/ 44 M / 12 PV) Organic + Demeter. 5-6,000 bottles.
This is the Super Tuscan from the estate’s finest vineyards. The increase in the percentage of Cabernet Franc at the expense of the uprooted Cabernet-Sauvignon is vindicated by the fact that we preferred the 2009 vintage. The 2013 reveals a layered bouquet of leather, mushroom and fresh plum. The palate is fresh and balsamic (rosemary), intense and concentrated.
Food pairings: The best of the evening – the concentration and character of the wine alongside the strongly flavoured lamb cooked to varying degrees, were delicious!
GUARDIAVIGNA 2009 Organic (50 CF/ 46 M / 4 PV)
Sanguine, mellow and more structured with bay and ink.
Food pairings: a very successful combination was the preserved onion with herbs that counterbalanced the concentration in the wine and enhanced freshness. Stuffed cherries pairs with the floral edge, the balsamic fat character and wonderful harmony.
GUARDIAVIGNA 2007 (65 M / 20 CF / 15 PV)
Very expressive and persistent showing tapenade and liquorice aromas.
Huge thanks to Giovanni Mazzoni, the estate’s sales director. Isabel Ferran, G&G Italia