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 Wine Tasting  Share this article     Summary of Wine Producers column Events 
  Wine Producers Issue 10, Summer 2003   
Casale del GiglioCasale del Giglio Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
Issue 9, June 2003 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 11, September 2003

Casale del Giglio

Twenty years of researches for the discovery of the potentialities of a territory capable of producing great quality wines

 Twenty years have passed since Casale del Giglio decided to start an ambitious project of research and experimentation with the declared goal of discovering and valuing the viticultural and wine potentialities of the “Agro Pontino”, a territory reclaimed in the 1930s and therefore new and open to any kind of development and culture. With the help of a qualified group of experts it started a series of researches and analyses on the ecosystem of those lands while trying to discover, by means of an accurate experimentation, the possibilities of the evolution according to an enological point of view. As the viticulture of that land is relatively new, and therefore not bound to any specific tradition, the adopted models for the production of wine were the ones inspired to the international ones and typically used in the countries of the New World. After about twenty years of continued researches and continued successes, Casale del Giglio has been successful in producing great wines with international grapes as well as with grapes not particularly popular, such as Petit Verdot, capable of surprising for their excellent quality.


Winemaker Paolo Tiefenthaler (left)
and Dr. Antonio Santarelli (right) proprietor of Casale del Giglio
Winemaker Paolo Tiefenthaler (left) and Dr. Antonio Santarelli (right) proprietor of Casale del Giglio

 Casale del Giglio winery was established in 1968 by Dr. Bernardino Santarelli and is located in Le Ferriere, in the province of Latina (Italy), and in the beginning was mainly involved in the production of Aprilia DOC wines, until 1984, when they decided to start a project about experimentation and research, called “Casale del Giglio”, in order to develop the agriculture of Agro Pontino. This territory was once marshy and it was reclaimed in the 1930s, and represents, as opposed to all the other areas of Latium and of the other Italian regions, a brand new territory to be explored according to a viticultural point of view. The project was endorsed by the Agricultural Department of Latium Region Government and are working on this project Prof. Attilio Scienza of “Istituto di Coltivazioni Arboree” of the Universisty of Milan, Prof. Francesco Spagnolli of “Istituto Agrario Provinciale San Michele all'Adige” (Trento, Italy), Prof. Antonio Piracci of “Istituto Sperimentale dell'Enologia di Asti” and Prof. Angelo Costacurta of “Istituto Sperimentale per la Viticoltura di Conegliano” (Treviso, Italy).

 This qualified group of experts, still involved in this project, has done specific experiment with the goal of favoring the qualitative increasing of production, basing their analyses on the original viticultural ecosystem and on its possibilities of evolution. The experimentations were not just limited to the study of viticulture, indeed, they focused on every phase of the process of wine making by means of specific practices. The cultivation models to which the researches were inspired to, were the ones used in the area of Bordeaux and of California, regions which are affected by oceans, just like Agro Pontino which benefits of the influence of the Tyrrhenian sea. One of the goals of this project is also to demonstrate the qualitative possibilities of the territory of Agro Pontino which has not been properly expressed and valued yet. According to Casale del Giglio's philosophy «the future development of Italian viticulture and wine making it is not only about the consolidation of the fame of those areas having important traditions, but also to obtain, by means of proper viticultural and wine making choices, high quality productions, although with a right quality/price ratio, in those territories not particularly known from a quality and enological point of view».


 

 Besides having introduced in the territory the classical international grapes, they also paid particular attention on the reevaluation of local grapes of the neighboring provinces and regions, such as Bombino, Cesanese, Greco Bianco and Falanghina grapes. However it is emblematic that in a territory like the Agro Pontino, usually considered as irrelevant according to a qualitative wine production point of view, they are conducting researches and experimentations of great importance for the viticulture of Latium. The researches have led to the abandoning of the usual vines in favor of others and having high quality potentials as well as replacing the traditional cultural practice of the “tendone” in favor of other systems of culture which favor quality and not quantity, with a density higher than 3000 vines per hectare.

 The first results of these researches has been awarded by the European Community directly to Casale del Giglio, and they have been authorized to cultivate in the province of Latina new species of grapes such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Particularly interesting are the wines produced with Petit Verdot, a red berried grape from Bordeaux and used for the production of the renowned wines of that area, which Casale del Giglio uses to make a mono varietal wine having extremely interesting and surprising characteristics. Casale del Giglio's Petit Verdot is, together with all of its wines, the witness of the success of its researches.

 Currently Casale del Giglio has converted about 71 hectares of its vineyards cultivated with the “tendone” system (about 175 acres), a technique which was capable of yielding an average of 180 quintals of grapes per hectare (about 17.7 tons per hectare), whereas by using the new cultural system it does not usually exceed an average of 80 quintals per hectare: this means a diminishing of 50% of quantity in favor of a higher quality. The current production of Casale del Giglio offers a wide selection of wines, both whites and reds, as well as a rose wine.

 The production of white wines includes “Satrico”, produced with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Trebbiano Giallo grapes, in equal quantities, aged in steel tanks and followed by an aging in bottle; a mono varietal “Chardonnay”, fermented in steel tanks and left in contact on its lees for 3-4 months; a mono varietal “Sauvignon Blanc” and, lastly, concerning white wines production, “Antinoo”, produced with two thirds of Chardonnay and a third of Viognier, aged in barrique for 6-8 months and for 6-12 months in bottle. Casale del Giglio also produces a rose wine, “Albiola”, made of Syrah (85%) and Sangiovese (15%), fermented in steel tanks.


A view of Casale del Giglio's
cellar
A view of Casale del Giglio's cellar

 The production of red wines is pretty vast and rich as well. Casale dei Giglio produces a mono varietal “Merlot”, a grape introduced in the Agro Pontino by the settlers who reclaimed the marsh, aged in barrique; a mono varietal “Shiraz” produced with Syrah grapes and by using wine making methods that favor the extraction of primary aromas and fine tannins, aged in barrique. They also produce an interesting mono varietal “Petit Verdot”, produced with the grape having the same name and expressly introduced in the territory by Casale del Giglio in 1985, which in this lands constantly reaches full ripeness and qualitative levels that allow its vinification as mono varietal. Even the mono varietal “Cabernet Sauvignon” produced by the winery is certainly interesting, a wine produced with the grape having the same name and aged in barrique for 18-20 months followed by an aging in bottle. Another interesting wine from Casale del Giglio is “Madreselva”, produced with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, in equal quantities, aged in barrique for 16-18 months and aged in bottle for 4-6 months. The production of Casale del Giglio is completed by the excellent “Mater Matuta”, produced with Syrah (85%) and Petit Verdot (15%), aged in barrique for 22-24 months and aged in bottle for 6-8 months.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Antinoo 2000, Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Antinoo 2000
Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay (66%), Viognier (34%)
Price: € 8,30 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a beautiful straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose is elegant with intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas of acacia, pineapple, banana, coffee, litchi, melon, peach, elder, gooseberry and vanilla. In mouth is very balanced with good correspondence to the nose, intense flavors and very agreeable. The finish is persistent with good flavors of litchi, peach, pineapple, banana and apple. A well made wine. Antinoo ages in barrique for 6-8 months followed by 6-12 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Pasta and risotto with fish, Roasted white meat, Soft cheese



Shiraz 2001, Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Shiraz 2001
Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Grapes: Syrah
Price: € 7,20 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine has a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes pleasing, intense, and clean aromas of black cherry, strawberry, raspberry, carob, plum and violet followed by pleasing aromas of vanilla and black pepper. In the mouth reveals good correspondence to the nose, a slightly alcoholic attack however balanced by tannins, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of raspberry, strawberry and plum. This Syrah is aged in barrique.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Hard cheese



Petit Verdot 2001, Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Petit Verdot 2001
Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Grapes: Petit Verdot
Price: € 8,60 Score:
The wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose denotes good personality with intense, clean, elegant and firm aromas of black cherry, strawberry jam, hay, blueberry, plum, black currant and violet followed by good aromas of vanilla, rose, nutmeg and licorice. In mouth reveals a slightly alcoholic attack however well balanced by tannins, intense flavors and full body. The finish is persistent with good flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry. A well made wine. This Petit Verdot is aged in barrique.
Food Match: Braised and stewed meat with mushrooms, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Cabernet Sauvignon 2000
Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
Price: € 13,80 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a beautiful and intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals personality and pleasing, clean, intense and refined aromas of black cherry, blueberry jam, plum jam, black currant and bell pepper followed by good and intense aromas of cocoa, leather, eucalyptus, tobacco and vanilla. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, an evident tannic attack however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with clean flavors of black currant, black cherry and blueberry. A very well made wine which will give its best with a further aging in bottle. This Cabernet Sauvignon ages in barrique for 18-20 months followed by a further aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Braised meat, Stewed meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Madreselva 1999, Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Madreselva 1999
Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (33%), Merlot (33%), Petit Verdot (33%)
Price: € 11,50 Score:
This wine has a beautiful and intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals personality with intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas of black cherry, blueberry, plum, black currant and violet followed by good and intense aromas of cocoa, coffee, leather, eucalyptus, licorice and vanilla. In the mouth has excellent correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack however well balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors. The finish is very persistent with long and pleasing flavors of plum, blueberry and black cherry. A very well made wine. Madreselva ages for 16-18 months in barrique followed by 4-6 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised meat, Stewed meat, Hard cheese



Mater Matuta 1999, Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Mater Matuta 1999
Casale del Giglio (Italy)
Grapes: Syrah (85%), Petit Verdot (15%)
Price: € 18,50 Score:
A great wine. This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose has great personality with intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas of black cherry jam, blueberry, plum, black currant, violet, cyclamen, carob and black pepper followed by good aromas of vanilla, cocoa, licorice and eucalyptus. In mouth is smooth, round and very balanced with excellent correspondence to the nose, intense flavors and full body. The finish is very persistent with long and clean flavors of black cherry, plum, black currant, plum and blueberry. A very well made wine. Mater Matuta ages in barrique for 22-24 months followed by 6-8 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Braised meat, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Casale del Giglio - Strada Cisterna - Nettuno Km. 13 - 04010 Le Ferriere, Latina (Italy) Tel. ++39 06 92902530 Fax ++39 06 92900212 - Winemaker: Paolo Tiefenthaler - Established: 1968 - Production: 500.000 bottles - E-Mail: casaledelgiglio@tin.it


 Wine Tasting  Share this article     Summary of Wine Producers column Events 
  Wine Producers Issue 10, Summer 2003   
Casale del GiglioCasale del Giglio Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
Issue 9, June 2003 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 11, September 2003

Cellar Journal


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  Wine Producers Issue 10, Summer 2003   
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