Drei Dona - Tenuta la Palazza Magnificat 2001
The property has been in the hands of the Drei Dona family since the last century, and although it has always been dedicated to producing Sangiovese grapes, it has undergone a radical transformation under the present owner, Count Claudio Drei Dona.
After acquiring a law degree and working in the insurance industry, Count Drei Dona, together with his son Enrico, has dedicated his efforts solely to the property, decisively guiding its activities towards increasingly high objectives.
Most of the 23 hectares of vineyards are planted with Sangiovese grapes, which were indigenous to the property. These old vines have been studied, selected and propagated to maintain La Palazza’s original clones.
The estate’s first wine, Pruno, is produced from these Sangiovese grapes along with a second wine, Notturno. In addition to Pruno and Notturno, selections of Chardonnay and Riesling (Il Tornese) and of Cabernet Sauvignon (Magnificat) are produced from two small vineyards. The Gran Riserva, Graf Noir, comes from another tiny vineyard of less than one hectare (two acres). It is a blend of three different grapes and is only produced in exceptional years.
The winery's working philosophy is extremely strict: the wines that Drei Dona produces are the result of exacting standards first in the vineyard, and then in the cellar. In this way, the winery starts with the highest quality grapes, and ferments and ages them in modern cellars to produce a wine that is a true expression of the Massa di Vecchiazzano Romagnan terroir. The winery also produces two aged grappas and an extra-virgin olive oil.
Just a note to explain the names of the wines: they all come from the names of the horses that the Drei Dona family also breeds in the farm.
While picturesque hillsides, endless coastlines and a favorable climate serve to unify the grape-growing culture of this country. The apparent never-ending world of indigenous grape varieties gives Italy an unexampled charm and allure. From the steep inclines of the Alps to the sprawling, warm, coastal plains of the south, red grape varieties thrive throughout.
The kings of Italy, wines like Barolo and Barbaresco (made of Nebbiolo), and Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino (made of Sangiovese), as well as Amarone (mostly Corvina), play center stage for the most lauded, collected and cellar-worthy reds. Less popular but entirely deserving of as much praise are the wines made from Aglianico, Sagrantino and Nerello Mascalese.
For those accustomed to drinking New World reds, the south is the place to start. Grapes like Negroamaro or Primitvo from Puglia and Nero d’Avola from Sicily make soft, ammicable, full-bodied, fruit-dominant wines. Curious palates should be on the lookout for Cannonau, Lagrein, Teroldego, Ruché, Freisa, Cesanese, Schiopettino, Rossese and Gaglioppo to name a few.