La Signora Eugenia e il passero solitario

Cascina Eugenia 1641 srl Società Agricola, viale Azari 72, 28922 Verbania (VB) | P.IVA 01867250035 | info@cascinaeugenia1641.com

cap. 6) I vini: technical sheets

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  • White wine
  • Red Wine
  • White wine produced from overripe grapes
  • Sparkling Wine pas dosé

La signora Eugenia e il passero solitario
White wine

100% chardonnay

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The la signora Eugenia e il passero solitario chardonnay is a proposal with a traditional oenological profile inspired by the great wines of Burgundy. Our work has also favoured the naturalness in order to enhance the taste of the terroir and reveal the characteristics of elegance, complexity and depth present in the wine.

Characteristics of the ground:
A glacial sedimentary deposit of fine, sandy-lemony matrix incorporates a considerable amount of stones and gravel, and rests due to the thickness of one to two metres of a metamorphic rocky substrate composed of micaschists of two micas, para-gneiss and granite.
Area covered:
0.7020 hectares
Date of planting:
Walnut Vineyard: 2006. Banchine Vineyard: 2011
Average production in the period 2008-2012:
458 g of grapes/plant, equivalent to approximately 275 ml of wine/plant. In some years part of the production has been dedicated to a very limited production of sparkling wine.

schedevini01Harvest: the evaluation of the vegetative evolution of the micro-plots identified within the Walnut vineyard is made every year according to the climatic situation. This survey gives origin to the harvest maps that are used to monitor the ripening of the grapes and subsequently the triage. The determination of the plots is made ​​by observing the characteristics of the ground, the balance in the growth of the vines and the characteristics of the bunches. The tasting of the grapes is the main way to interpret them and define the harvest time. The harvest is done by hand, by selecting bunch by bunch, on the days indicated by the biodynamic calendar. The grapes are transported to the wine cellar in small crates of 4 kg. In the 2008-2012 period the average yield was 3 glasses of wine per plant: a spontaneously low yield due to a combination of geo-climatic characteristics and the young age of the vines.
Fermentation: the proximity between the vineyard and the winery ensures that the grapes arrive fresh and in a very short time for the processing. The grapes are divided in two batches that represent two different times of the collection: the first ferments in small stainless steel vats and the second in barrels. The fermentation realised ​​in stainless steel vats corresponds to the fresher batches of Chardonnay, with potentially more elegant aromas, resulting from the pressing of whole bunches to obtain the first-pressing must. Immediately after the pressing, the must remains in natural settling for 24 hours to clarify spontaneously. The fermentation in barrels corresponds instead to the pre-macerated batch, in which the grapes are well-ripened, with more structure and extract in the future wine. In this case, the grapes are de-stemmed and the must remains in contact with the skins from three to seven days, then a light pressing is made and the must is decanted into barrels of second stage. Normally there are three or four fermentations resulting from the different times of collection and the various techniques of fermentation. They always take place with indigenous yeasts and the duration is from 15 to 20 days.
Refinement: every batch follows a different course, depending on its potential. Some remain in barrels for the refinement of the yeasts, others alternate periods in wood and steel vats to preserve the delicate olfactory notes. At the right time, which is defined with the tasting, when every batch reaches its expression and its balance, an assemblage of the batches is made, to create a single wine. As a rule, the wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation. All the course of the wine in the cellar is guided by great simplicity, with attention to understanding what we have to do and what instead the wine does alone.
Bottling: the bottles are filled by hand directly from the small vats. The wine is not clarified, stabilized or filtered, to preserve its characteristics. Its clarity is reached in a natural way. If some sediment appears, we advise you to simply decant the wine.
Author proofs: in some years the peculiarities of the climate trend or the technical inspirations during the process of creation have suggested to create, besides the classical one, another interpretation of this vintage, characterised by an oenological style different from the wine usually produced in this type of product. They are our “Author proofs”,   numbered progressively with Roman numerals.
Tasting: the wine undergoes a refinement of 18 to 24 months in the cellar, plus a further year of aging in the bottle. This of course is carried out by maintaining the naturalness: also for this reason the wine brings a wealth of aromas and flavours that can be tasted after a few minutes in the glass, and are intensified after a few hours and even days after opening the bottle. The combination of freshness and complexity makes the wine very expressive. At the current state of knowledge we estimate its life in the bottle of over 10 years.

La signora Eugenia e il passero solitario
Red Wine

100% Pinot noir

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The pinot noir of La signora Eugenia e il passero solitario draws its inspiration, like the chardonnay, from the wines and the terroir of Burgundy. The production of this vine variety in the territory of Pettenasco is a challenge because of its delicate needs for adaptation. Our aim is to take care of every detail able to enhance the results in our environment, in particular we seek the balance between the geo-climatic conditions and the plants, in order to arrive at the most complete ripening of the grapes as possible. The main characteristics of the wine are the finesse, balance and consistency. Our aim is to enhance the varietal character full of vitality and freshness, respecting a traditional oenological style, along with the air of Lake Orta. In some years in addition to the normal production we are also planning to offer a production of “Author proofs”.

Characteristics of the ground:
A glacial sedimentary deposit of fine, sandy-lemony matrix incorporates stones and gravel to a considerable extent and rests due to a thickness from one to two metres on a metamorphic rocky substrate composed of micaschists of two micas, para-gneiss and granite.
Area covered:
1.078 hectares
Date of planting:
Lake Vineyard: 2005. Ash Vineyard: 2005. Holly Vineyard: 2005
Average production in the period 2008-2012:
306 g of grapes/plant, equivalent to about 183 ml of wine/plant.  For some years part of this production was dedicated to a very limited production of sparkling wine.

schedevini02Harvest: our pinot noir is produced in three small vineyards: the Lake vineyard, the Ash vineyard and the Holly vineyard. Within these vineyards carefully-monitored micro-plots have been singled out, in which the harvests are targeted, with selection by grape. As for the other vineyards, there are harvest maps updated every year, used in the control of maturation and in the harvests. Analytical controls are carried out, but the decision is always taken by tasting the grapes and evaluating the maturity of the tannins in the skins and pips. The harvest is done by hand on the days indicated by the biodynamic calendar. The grapes are transported to the cellar in small crates of 4 kg. On average, in the first five years, the production was 2 glasses of wine per plant.
Fermentation: the grapes are de-stemmed and dropped directly in wooden or stainless steel containers, thanks to the planning of the cellar that has two different levels for the reception of the grapes and the fermentation area.  Depending on their characteristics, the grapes are fermented in wood or in small stainless steel vats, with a preference for the use of wooden vats made according ​​to our design by Tonnellerie Francois of Brive la Gaillarde. During the fermentation, always conducted by indigenous yeasts, two or three manual punching-downs a day are effectuated, for the selective extraction of aromatics and flavours. The fermentation usually takes place in 12/15 days, while the macerating time is usually longer: once the fermentation is completed, the skins remain in contact with the wine for several days and the time of devatting is decided with the tasting. This post-maceration is important for the extraction and stabilization of polyphenolic compounds in a natural way.
Refinement: in the time of pressing, the wine is put into barrels of second or third stage. It remains in the wood from 8 to 18 months depending on the batches. Generally, in the wines with the most extract, some batonnage is done to stir the fine sediments on the bottom of the barrels. The refinement is also made in stainless steel vats: mainly a few months before the bottling, when the assemblage of the various batches is realized. The vats have wheels to allow the wine to be moved to the cellar without it having to be decanted, unless otherwise planned: an important detail to avoid the intake of undesired oxygen. During the winter the wine is exposed to the lowest temperatures of the season in order to allow spontaneous stabilization. The days chosen for the oenological activities comply with the directions of the biodynamic calendar.
Bottling: it is done strictly by hand, directly from the small vats, after 18/24 months of refinement in the cellar. The wine is not treated in any way, what is bottled are the pure grapes transformed into wine: there are no corrections or addition of clarifiers as these practices are contrary to our research of expression of the territory. If there is some sediment, we advise you to simply decant the wine.
Author proofs: in some years the peculiarities of the climate trend or the technical inspirations during the creation process may suggest us to create, besides the classical one, another interpretation of this vintage, characterised by an oenological style different from the wine usually produced in this type of product. They are our ”Author proofs”, numbered progressively with Roman numerals.
Tasting: to capture the best aroma and undertones we recommend you to decant the wine two to three hours before tasting. The wine has the particularity of being more and more vital and enriched by descriptors as it gradually evolves in the glass. The same characteristic is perceived even three-four days after opening the bottle. At the current state of knowledge we estimate its life in the bottle for more than 10 years.

La signora Eugenia e il passero solitario
White wine produced from overripe grapes

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We consider it as the superlative wine of Cascina Eugenia for its ability to surprise. It is a wine full of everything, that combines strength and elegance, becoming a true oenological gold, not only for its golden yellow colour, but especially for its organoleptic preciousness and the rarity. In some years, in addition to the normal production, we also plan a production of “Author proofs”.

Characteristics of the ground:
A glacial sedimentary deposit of fine sandy-lemony matrix incorporates stones and gravel to a considerable extent, and rests for a thickness from one to two metres on a substrate composed of metamorphic rock micaschists of two micas, para-gneiss and granite.
Area covered:
0.8676 hectares
Date of planting:
Cherry Vineyard: 2005 and 2006. Willow Vineyard: 2006 and 2011
Average production in the period 2008-2012:
480 g grapes/plant equivalent to about 216 ml of wine/plant.

schedevini03Harvest: the method of harvesting follows the same principles as the other wines: identification of the plots, control of the maturation, collections made ​​several times, always manual and meticulous. The difference is the period, in fact the harvest begins at least one month after the collection of the other grapes is over, and depending on the years, it may start at the end of October and continue until December. Its very slow maturation leads to very low yields due to the loss of water and the resulting concentration that occurs in the grape that, at the moment of collection, weighs about 0.3 g. On average we produce 2 glasses of wine per plant.
Fermentation: the small batches of grapes are collected when they reach the right concentration or when noble botrytis develops in the bunch. The grapes are pressed without being de-stemmed, and the must is fermented very slowly in barrels or, depending on the volume, in small stainless steel vats. In some years the maceration of the must with its skins is practiced: in this case the pressing takes place after the end of the maceration and the must ferments in barrels. The spontaneous fermentations continue throughout the winter for a duration of more than three months. This unique characteristic develops an elegant and particular expressiveness in the wine. The percentage of noble botrytis contributes with a note of complexity to the wine. The great power of fermenting of the indigenous yeasts is currently the subject of scientific research, to understand why they resist so well at low temperatures, high alcohol concentrations and low pH.
Refinement: it takes place in barrels with periodical batonnage effectuated during the early part of the evolution of the wines.  When the fermentation achieves a good balance between the total acidity and natural sugar residues, the decanting begins in order to separate the sediments. Considering the remarkable fermentative ability of its yeasts, and as we do not want to use antifermentatives, this is the only one of our wines that is filtered after the final assemblage, in order to avoid a further fermentation in the bottle.
Bottling: it is done by hand. One by one, the bottles are filled directly from the small vats. After the bottling, the bottles remain upright for at least a day so that the natural plug makes its ideal conformation. They are then stored horizontally in special wooden cupboards and begin their course of evolution.
Author proofs: in some years, the peculiarities of the climate or technical inspirations during the process of creation, suggested to us to create another interpretation of this vintage characterised by an oenological style different from the wine usually produced in this type of product. They are our “Author proofs”, numbered progressively in Roman numerals.
Tasting: this wine stimulates a new tasting experience: the concentration of the various olfactory and gustatory compounds stimulates the imagination and the senses, on the border between the exotic and the traditional. A true, natural alchemy, it presents concentration and elegance, intensity and undertones. The balance between the sugars and acidity consents to tranquilly enjoy it during meals. It expresses a great potential of evolution: you can taste it very young, or have the patience to try it in decades. When stored under ideal conditions, its life in the bottle is estimated to be over 30 years.

La signora Eugenia e il passero solitario
Sparkling Wine pas dosé

Subsequent to the studies on the oenological potential of the place, effectuated between 2007 and 2009, we realized that in our vineyards there were some interesting plots of land where we could try to produce a sparkling wine with great personality. The grapes of pinot noir and chardonnay of the later ripening plots, presented a naturally strong acidity, some elegant aromas and a contained alcohol content. The result of the winemaking as still wines was not satisfactory to us, instead we were very surprised when we decided to try these grapes as a base for a sparkling wine.
Our idea was to propose a sparkling wine as natural as possible with the aim of exalting, in the scenario of the international bubbles, the potential of an unusual and uncontaminated territory, just as it is, for a type of wine more technical and generally industrialised.
So, in 2010 a very limited production of small batches of sparkling wine was started following the classical method. Depending on the harvests, the cuvée have different proportions of chardonnay and pinot noir. The second fermentation takes place directly in the bottle with the indigenous yeasts (1).  A long refinement on the yeasts is forcasted (at least five years on the yeasts before the dégorgement). The sparkling wine is pas dosé i.e. without the addition of sugar in the liquer d’expédition, out of respect for a product already in gustatory balance without corrections. Every bottle becomes an unrepeatable story. The first cuvée will be available not earlier than 2015.

(1)  The desire to respect the principle of naturalness as element of quality and originality has stimulated a study conducted in collaboration with the University of Udine and of the laboratory Sinergo of Asti, to select the best yeasts of the winery with the ability to re-ferment in the bottle. Our aim is to realise a second fermentation with indigenous yeasts to preserve the balance of spontaneous micro-organisms within the winery, and enhance the yeasts that have proven to add expression and identity to the wines.

Monica Rossetti, oenologist