The “creator” of this superb wine is Hans Vinding-Diers, who produced for the first time Suolo in the year of 2000. This wine bears without any doubt his remarkable imprint. Suolo originates from 100% Sangiovese grapes issued from two single vineyard plots from the estate. One of them being “Vignoni”, our oldest vineyard planted in 1966 (one of the oldest in the area) and “Oliviera”, one of our younger ones, planted in 1989. The original reason for this selection was to study the difference between very old vines and newer ones. Suolo, Italian name for “soil” is a tribute to the vine’s host which gives it its great complexity.
Suolo has a dark ruby color, with its typical “nose” of complex notes of dark fruits that all fans of it will easily recognise from vintage to vintage. With its beautiful texture, Suolo is smooth and silky, overall very balanced, dark and mysterious, with superbly well-integrated oak. The aftertaste is long-lasting with hints of balsam and earth, and lingering fruit. It exhibits beautifully delineated, perfumed red fruits, flowers, spices, licorice, smoke and earthiness in a gorgeously pure, vibrant expression of Sangiovese that bursts onto the palate. Suolo shows important ageing potential, with an impressive capital of tannins and acidity. A wine with outstanding potential to mature for 10 to 15 years… for those who will be patient enough to wait.
Argiano’s vineyards are blessed with a fortunate microclimate and enviable position both of which contribute to favourable development of the grapes. The extended vegetative cycle and maturation period are due to the 300m above see level plateau thus creating cool nights in the summer months. The moderate rainfall in general of Montalcino promotes a better and healthier ripening period, bringing more concentration and flavours to the wine. This combined with the constant and warm winds from the Maremma that cool down the grapes during the hottest days of summer enables a slower ripening period rendering all over favourable conditions. Last but not the least, the close proximity of Argiano to Monte Amiata, one of Tuscany’s highest peak that shelters the whole area from bad weather. Consequently, all factors combined enable Argiano to produce year after year high profile wines and consistently good vintages.
Every year during the “invaiatura” (when the grapes get the maximum energy input from the vine itself, usually at the end of July - beginning of August), we reduce the yield (amount of grapes per vine) down to about 4 to 5 bunches per vine. This largely increases the grapes’ concentration in order to get a fuller and richer wine. The grapes are harvested by hand mid-October. After an ultimate selection during the harvest, the grapes are brought to the winery in small crates in order not to crush them. The berries, after being removed from their stems but again not crushed, are put into temperature controlled fermentation tanks. The presence of a large proportion of whole berries allows a steady and slow start of the fermentation almost like a kind of “carbonic maceration” meaning that the fermentation starts inside the berries. This process is favourable to the indigenous wild yeast and gives to the future wine a great subtlety and complexity, fully representative of the vineyards from which the wine comes from. The “mosto” (fermenting grape juice) is left in contact with the skins for around three weeks in order to get the maximum extraction without being over extracted. It is then run off into 225 litres’ barrels. The second fermentation, also called Malolactic (which all red wines undergo), occurred directly in new French oak barrels of the finest grain, accurately selected in order to emphasise softness of both fruit and tannin. Finally, the wine aged slowly for 15 to 17 months in these same barrels with only one decanting.
Suolo is usually bottled in July with no filtration and as a result may throw a harmless sediment which is the sign of high quality, natural wine. Just 3,000 bottles and 60 magnums are made annually.