Tasting is a fundamental step to create a blend. A mix between science and art.
January 2020. At the cellar there are the producer Silvia Cirri, the winemaker Laura Zuddas, the agronomist Linda Franceschi, and the team to taste new Agapanto 2018.
A long row of glasses is on the wooden table of the cellar. Behind everyone there is a glass bottle labelled with arcane acronyms that illustrate the actual variety, quantity, and source vat of the wine.
Today is the tasting day.
Every month, and sometimes more often, we repeat the same operation: we take wine from each vat, tonneau or barrel, we pour it in bottles, label it and put it on the table.
When grapes arrive at cellar and are vinified, they produce a wine that could become something fully different from the one produced by grapes harvested the following day, even if from the same vineyard and poured into the nearest vat. Therefore, it is important to taste every single lot. Indeed, at Podere Conca we divide the grapes depending on their variety and area immediately after harvesting; therefore, even if we are a small farm, the wines to taste are many.
When the wines are into glasses, they are studied and analysed to understand if the wine choices made up to today are right or if we should change something.
Sometimes that means to pour wine into barrels, or on the contrary, to pour it into a larger vat together with other wines coming from different barrels.
Generally, that occurs when we decide to blend the wine: we taste Ciliegiolo, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, and we decide the percentages of the different types, so to taste the future Agapanto on a small scale. To be even more accurate, we use a graduate cylinder to reach the wanted proportion of wines.
If we like the blend but we are not fully convinced, we make a slightly different blend, for example with 5% more of Cabernet Sauvignon and we taste it again.
That seems impossible, but the new blend poured into glasses, is completely different. Someone finds it better, while others prefer the precedent blend.
At this point another change: this time a bit more of Franc. We taste it again. Here is ready the new Agapanto, voted unanimously.
In the following days, pouring operations and moves of the wine take place to search for making the small magic we had done in the glass on a larger scale.
It seems a game of red tubes that cross the cellar, intertwine, and then restart. Everyone holds inside a part of the Agapanto which is taking shape.
by Silvia Cirri, Linda Franceschi and Laura Zuddas