Casale del Giglio Petit Verdot 2011
Casale del Giglio was founded in 1967 by Dr. Berardino Santarelli, a native of the Appenine hill town of Amatrice. The estate lies between the towns of Aprilia and Latina in the Agro Pontino valley, some 50 kms. south of Rome. Unlike other parts of the Latium region, or other regions of Italy, this territory was still uncharted in viticultural terms when Berardino Santarelli and his son Antonio launched their research project in 1985.
Endorsed by the Agricultural Department of Latium’s Regional Government, the project involved researchers of international standing, many of whom still contribute to Casale del Giglio’s research today; Prof. Attilio Scienza from Milan University’s ‘Istituto di Coltivazioni Arboree’, Prof. Angelo Costacurta from the ‘Istituto Sperimentale per la Viticoltura di Conegliano’ (Treviso) and Prof. Fulvio Mattivi from the Research & Innovation Centre at the ‘Fondazione Edmund Mach’ – ‘Istituto Agrario Provinciale San Michele all’Adige’ (Trento) – where Casale del Giglio’s winemaker, Paolo Tiefenthaler, was trained.
Since the project aimed at identifying and maximising the territory’s potential for quality viticulture, useful comparisons were made with processes adopted in Bordeaux, California and Australia, wine producing areas of the world influenced, like the Agro Pontino valley, by a maritime climate. Casale del Giglio subscribes to the philosophy that “the future of Italian viticulture relies not only on consolidating the image of its traditional wine producing zones but, on its ability, to produce top quality wines at favorable prices in areas whose potential is still relatively unexplored.”
As a result of Casale del Giglio’s research, the European Community authorized the cultivation of ‘new recommended varieties’ such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon in the province of Latina (from 1990) while other varieties were authorized later. Casale del Giglio has converted its 180 hectares of vineyard to the cordon trained system, electing to plant those grape varieties which adapt well to the territory and produce quality wines. Casale del Giglio currently offers a range of twenty two products – seven white wines, one rosé, seven reds, one late harvest, three grappas and an extra virgin olive oil.
Known as the ancient homeland of the Latins, today there is a vigorus wine industry beyond the city limits of modern, bustling Rome. The Cesanese grape, full of red berry, spice and rose, is responsible for Lazio’s only true local reds. Lazio’s most famous white wine, called Frascati, is based on the local Malvasia del Lazio and Trebbiano Toscana. A sweet version, called Cannellino di Frascati, is also made.
One of the original Bordeaux varieties, Petit Verdot has a bold structure, color and aromas, which allow it to make a significant difference in Bordeaux Blends—even in modest amounts. While it isn’t planted in Bordeaux in great quantities anymore, its virtues are increasingly identified elsewhere. Somm Secret—Producing phenomenal single-varietal wines in hot and dry locations in the New World, Petit Verdot also finds a happy home in parts of Spain as well as in in Portugal’s Alentejo where it gracefully blends with the regions' indigenous varieties.