Not far from the town of Lecce and from the sea, on the road to Taranto, at the gates of Salice Salentino, centuries-old olive trees and flourishing vineyards surround Castello Monaci. The long corridor which links the main road to the castle is a line which goes through the estate, a meridian which divides the vineyards and opens the gates to the modern cellar. Here spreads the sun which floods the land with light and creates unique shapes like the fruits to which it gives birth. Castello Monaci. Crafted by the sun.
Artas the Messapian chief who, in 413 B.C., in accordance with anancient treaty of friendship between Messapia and Athens, provided 150 javelin throwers to support the Athenian expedition to Sicily in the so-called Peloponnesian war between Sparta and Athens. The Messapians, a warlike and independent people, inhabited the southern part of Puglia, and were known as Salentini. It is thought that this name signifies “the people between the seas” because they were based in the south of Puglia between the Adriatic and Ionian seas.
Vintage 2012: the year was characterized by quite a mild autumn accompanied by generous rainfall. The winter was very cold especially in February, with temperatures often dropping below zero. The spring was accompanied by heavy rainfall, giving strength to the plant during its vegetative growth and therefore a wider grape production in the vineyard. The summer was sunny and dry. This harvest wa s very good, with grapes rich in sugar content.
The grapes: 100% primitivo
The vineyard: is notable for its deep, dry soil mixed with fissile tufaceous limestone rock. The training system is alberello with about 5000 vines per hectare and a yield of 60 quintals/hectare.
The vinification and the ageing: the grapes are picked by hand very early in the morning. In the cellar the product just pressed is immediately cooled and kept cold for several days in order to preserve all the intrinsic characteristics of the primitive grapes. Vinification, with a maceration of about 15 days, is noteworthy for the judicious use of frequent but not aggressive remontages and for a skilful employment of changes of temperature: all this gives the wine anelegant and, at the same time, modern structure. After malolactic fermentation, the wine is left for about 6 months to mature in small oak casks and for 6 months in large barrels. This is followed by further for 6 months in the bottle.
The wine: Artas has a bright, deep, ruby red colour; a very pronounced, complex and ethereal bouquet with strong hints of fruits of the forest in perfect balance with sweet balsamic notes and the aroma of roasted coffee. The flavour is full, warm, soft and very enveloping with soft and elegant tannins. It finishes with a pleasant aftertaste of red fruits.
Analytical details: 16.50% alcohol; 7 g/l total acidity; 3.60 pH; 9.50g/l residual sugar; 40g/l dry extract.
Optimum keeping: 5-6 years stored horizontally in cool, dark conditions.
Food matches: red meat roasts, game, medium-mature goat cheeses.
Serving temperature: 18°C.