Province of Firenze
Owners: Neil & Maria Empson, Alessandro François
Winemakers: Alessandro François & Franco Bernabei
Production: 10,000 bottles
Hectares under vine: 4.5
Named after the wild boar of the region that both wiped out one of the first vintages and is a great match – as a ragu sauce with pasta – for this wine, Cignale is the project of Neil Empson and friend Alessandro François of Castello di Querceto. In 1981, three hectares of vines were planted across three locations near Greve at 425-500 metres above sea level, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a small percentage of Merlot. The various soil types are abundant in nitrogen, a key element of structure and longevity, and yields are notoriously low – incredibly, less than half a tonne per hectare – conferring power, concentration and a long cellar life. The wine undergoes full malolactic and élevage in new and one-year-old French barrique for 18-24 months, before egg white fining (no filtration) and further bottle maturation, being released at three to four years from harvest. Cellar life is up to 20 years.