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Nittardi Ad Astra Maremma Toscana

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Producer Information

Nittardi is a boutique winery situated in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, with vineyards in Chianti Classico and Maremma in southern Tuscany.
The Nittardi Estate, on the boundary between the provinces of Siena and Florence, was originally a defensive tower known as early as 1183 by the name of “Nectar Dei” (The Nectar of the God). In the 16th century, the vast property belonged to the Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti who, in 1549, while painting the Sistine Chapel, wrote to his nephew Lionardo: “I’d prefer two casks of wine rather than eight shirts.” On that same occasion, Michelangelo also sent Nittardi wine to Rome as a “genuine gift to the Pope Julius II”. Today, in honour of that tradition, every year the first bottles of Nectar Dei, the top wine from the Maremma vineyards, are presented to the Pope.
Over the centuries the property changed hands only a few times until, in 1981, it was taken over by the Frankfurt publisher and art gallerist Peter Femfert and his wife Stefania Canali, a historian from Venice. Stefania and Peter restored Nittardi step-by-step and with love and care. The vineyards were replanted and, in 1992, the ancient vat room was replaced by a modern cellar. A competent team of wine enthusiasts was put together, consisting of Carlo Ferrini, the consultant enologist; Antonio Spurio, the technical director; and Giorgio Conte, the commercial director. Another splendid property was purchased in the Maremma, close to the coast in southern Tuscany, in 1999. Since then, 20 hectares there have been planted with local and international grape varietals. This is where Ad Astra and Nectar Dei, the Super Tuscans of Nittardi and BEN a pure Vermentino are produced. Since 2013 Léon, Peter and Stefanias son, overseas the winemaking and marketing of Nittardi. Also because of his sustainable vision today all vineyards are certified organic.

As homage to Michelangelo, the unique combination of art and wine is still cultivated today at Nittardi. Every year a well-known artist paints the label as well as the wrapping paper used for the Casanuova di Nittardi Vigna Doghessa wine bottles. The collection, started in 1981, includes works by internationally renowned artists such as Hundertwasser, Corneille, A.R. Penck, Mitoraj, Yoko Ono, Günter Grass, Dario Fo and Karl Otto Götz. The English Artist Joe Tilson has created the artworks for the 2015 vintage, while Allen Jones painted the label and wrapping paper for the 2016 vintage.
A year does not go by in which the wines of Nittardi do not win an important award or rating, including Three Glasses from Gambero Rosso, Five Bottles from Vini d’Italia, 5 Stars from Decanter, and 90+ (max. 95) points from Wine Spectator. The Wine Enthusiast, Wine Advocate and James Suckling.

Grapes

Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc

Production

Ad Astra grows in our Maremma property called Mongibello delle Mandorlaie between Scansano and Magliano, 8 km away from the sea at an altitude of 250 meter. The soil is mostly sand with granite stones and clay underneath. All vineyards are certified organic.

The first half of the year was cooler than average, with a particular rainy May, creating a slight delay in the vines vegetation cycle compared to previous years. Summer and September were just perfect without too much heat or rain resulting in the grapes with perfectly ripe phenolics, something that very often nowadays is missing because of climate change. We picked our healthy and ripe grapes in the second half of September, starting with Merlot, followed by Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese and finally the Cabernet Sauvignon. They were all brought with a temperature controlled truck to the cellar in Castellina in Chianti.

40% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc

14 months in new (10%) and used Barrique and Tonneaux barrels, a few months in concrete to blend the different varieties. 4 months in bottle.

Tasting Notes

The name of Ad Astra is gleaned from the Latin phrase Per Aspera Ad Astra — “a rough road leads to the stars”. A phrase that is also true for great wines, as greatness requires a great deal of loving work and care in the vineyards. Ad Astra is an approachable yet simultaneously serious red wine that is also a pleasure when enjoyed young.

Opulent ruby red colour with a fascinating spice and chilli character. Blackcurrant and cherry fruit on the nose, medium to full-bodied, soft and round tannins combine with a silky and elegant finish. Delicious served with a plate of charcuterie and hard cheeses, long slow-braised red meat dishes, or with pizza and pasta.

What our staff say

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