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Chardonnay Rarity 2003

"Cantina Terlano has an unusual offering in the form of its Rarities, special editions of mature white wines that have been left to age on the lees in steel pressure tanks for at least ten years. This Rarity is a Chardonnay with a youthful freshness that belies its maturity. That makes it perfect for a long period of aging in the bottle.

Terlano has the terroir to produce great white wines, as its Rarities so convincingly demonstrate."

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Wine

Provenance: Alto Adige - Italy
DOC Denomination: Alto Adige Terlano
Variety: 100 % Chardonnay
Vintage: 
2003
Yield:
40 hl/ha
Orientation: Southwest
Slope: 30 - 50 %
Altitude: 350 m a. s. l.

Vinification

Manual harvest and selection of the grapes; gentle whole cluster pressing and clarification of the must by natural sedimentation; slow fermentation at a controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks with malolactic fermentation and aging on the lees in big wooden barrels for 12 months; further aging on the lees in steel tanks without filtering or fining for eleven years.
Produced bottles: 3,330

Prizes

Antonio Galloni presents Vinous 2015: 94 points
Falstaff 2015: 95 points
Wein-Plus 2015: 92+ points
Gambero Rosso - Vini d'Italia 2016: two red glasses
I Vini di Veronelli 2016: 94 points
Bibenda 2016: five grapes
Wine Spectator 2015: 91 points
Vitae - La guida vini AIS 2016: 4 vines

Technical data

  • Alcohol content: 13.0 % vol
  • Residual sugar: 2.8 g/l
  • Total acidity: 4.7 g/l

Suggested glass

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Glass for an evolved white wine
Serving temperature: 12 - 14 °C

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  • Wine description

    Color: intensive light straw yellow with delicate greenish reflections
    Smell: Terlano’s 2003 rarity wine has an impressive freshness and a wealth of aromas, with new components revealed at every tasting, including herbal notes of camomile, lemon balm and lovage together with a hint of dried kaki and apricot. The multifaceted bouquet also displays aromas of bread crust and yeast bun paired with flint.
    Taste: The wine is smooth and creamy on the palate, with a strong acid backbone that leaves a both youthful and delicate impression and strikes a fine balance with the mineral components. The finish is elegant and silky, but also enormously deep and firm.

  • Vintage

    A hot and dry summer made 2003 the year with the smallest harvest in the last few decades. After an unusually wet November of the previous year, the soils in the vineyards were well supplied with water for the winter, although the cold season did not live up to its name for weeks on end; the first snow did not fall until the end of January and really cold winter weather did not materialize until February. In March the thermometer rose again, but the nights remained cold. That put a damper on the vegetation, and it did not show the first real signs of new life until the second half of March. With a typical April bringing mild temperatures and a little rain, the vegetation soon corresponded to an average year. May was very warm and sunny, and the 30°C mark was reached for the first time that year. The weather was equally hot and above all dry in the following summer months, which went down in the annals with record temperatures, minimal precipitation and hurricane-strength gusts of winds. It is worth stressing that the hot weather was not limited to the main summer months but was the dominant feature from May to August. Nor did the air cool down very much at night, with the thermometer often sinking by just a few degrees. There was no rain during the harvest weeks, either, and – with must weights well above average, and the grapes in excellent condition – all the criteria were met for a very good vintage.

  • Aging

    Cool storage at constant temperatures, high level of humidity and as little light as possible
    Cellar temperature: 10 - 15 °C
    Excellent ageing potential > 10 years

  • Soil
    • The quartz porphyry bedrock is of volcanic origin.
    • The light, sandy-loamy soils are the foundation for naturally limited yields.
    • The soils have a 55-60% quartz content and a slightly acidic pH.
    • The minerally and distinctive wines are highly prized for their outstanding longevity.

    Soil samples taken from three different sites have revealed the presence of a subvolcanic body around Terlano, which differs in composition from the classic volcanic rock. The skeletal sandy loamy soils have a high quartz content. The absence of calcium carbonate explains the slightly acid pH values. These factors result in a high permeability to water, a limited nutrient supply and thus balanced growth with naturally limited yields. Exceptional soil conditions influence the terroir of Terlano, where the vines have developed a specific reaction to micro-stress and produce their own terroir-specific polyphenols, which give the Terlano wines their distinctive character. The result is particularly salty wines with great tension and depth. The special mix of crystals and minerals in the Terlano soils produces white wines whose unique longevity never fails to impress the world’s wine gurus.

  • Climate

    The high peaks of the main Alpine chain protect South Tyrol from the Atlantic winds and cold northerlies, while the region benefits from the Mediterranean climate from the south. Terlano has a remarkable microclimate, with pronounced differences in temperature between day and night caused by the cool downslope winds from the mountains.
    To the south, a number of mountain massifs like the Adamello also have a protective function. As a result, annual precipitation is only about one-third of the average for the southern Alpine foothills, and the number of hours of sunshine is higher. The climatic conditions are not unlike those to be found in wine-growing areas like the Swiss Canton Valais.
    When the sun rises behind the mountains east of Terlano on one of the year’s 300 sunny days, it is already high in the sky as the wine-growing area has a westerly to southwesterly exposure. The lower atmospheric density permits more direct solar irradiation with less diffuse sunlight. That increases the difference between the slopes on the sunny and shady sides of the valley.

    Microclimate in Terlano
    Continental climate (Cfa Köppen-Geiger)
    Annual sunshine hours: ø 2135
    Maximum temperatures: 38,2 °C
    Average temperatures: 12,9 °C
    Minimum temperatures: -10,7°C
    Annual precipitation: ø 600 - 700 mm
    Average global radiation: 150,1 W/m²
    Winds
    North foehn: cool and dry down-slope wind
    Ora: valley wind system from the south, bringing in air from the Po Valley