Lucente is the second wine of Luce, a wine with contemporary style, immediate and great pleasure, and like its elder sibling, an authentic interpretation of Montalcino and the Luce estate.
After the first strict selection of the very best grapes for Luce, the next selection is used for Lucente and is often coming from the younger vineyards planted in the Luce estate. Lucente represents a more approachable expression of the estate’s unique terroir.
The Luce estate covers 615 acres, 217 of which are planted with Sangiovese and Merlot. The estate is in the southwest of Montalcino, at one of the highest elevation points, and south/southwest facing; the freshness and structure that result play in tension with the deep, perfectly ripe fruit. Higher elevation planting have sandstone and limestone, and are ideal for Sangiovese. Clay in the lower altitude vineyards is perfect for the powerful expression of Merlot.
The two varietals that go into creating Lucente are harvested at slightly different times: the Merlot is picked during the first week of September, while the Sangiovese is harvested the third week of September. The wine is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for 10 days and does an additional 20 days of skin maceration. The wine is aged in part new, part re-used wooden barriques for 12 months before bottling.
Winter was severe and brought little moisture, except for a brief snowfall in early February, while spring started dry and mild, with above-average temperatures at times, particularly in March. Temperatures plunged abruptly on 8 April, inflicting freezes throughout Tuscany, but Tenuta Luce’s vineyards fortunately suffered no damage, since the high-elevation Sangiovese vineyards are situated above the cold air, and the Merlot buds were still protected by their cottony sheath. Late May ushered in the first heat, preceding the flowering stage, in the first week of June for Merlot and the following week for Sangiovese. The summer months were hot and dry, until 16 July, which brought a providential rainfall that lowered temperatures and relieved the vines. That also created ideal conditions for veraison, which began in the third week of July. August experienced some rainfall between the third and fourth weeks, which beneficially lowered the heat and encouraged significant day-night temperature differentials, by as much as 15oC., conditions that preserved aromatic crispness and ripeness in the berries. Harvest, which began on 7 September with the first Merlot parcels and then in the second week with Sangiovese, was carried out in magnificent weather, with excellent diurnal temperature ranges and no rain.
Appearing a deep ruby red, Lucente boasts an intense bouquet of red berryfruit, wild blackberry, Parma violets, and other floral notes. Broad and generous on the palate, with tannins beautifully-integrated into the structure, it develops tangy, aromatic fruit on the mid-palate, including dark wild berry, black liquorice, and smooth spices.
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Other Wines by this Producer
Luce is a singular and irresistible expression of Montalcino, a Super Tuscan with an exotic and some would say decadent side. The spectacular estate’s diversity of soils, expositions and biodiversity of olive groves and forests come together in a wine as vibrant and exciting as a landscape.
Luce Brunello is the winery’s tribute to Montalcino and the wine that emerged there in the second half of the 19th century to become one of Italy’s crowning jewels in wine production. It is produced in a very small quantity to showcase the unique character of a pure Sangiovese from the Luce estate vineyards and pay tribute to the winemaking tradition of Montalcino.