Winter of 2016 and the initial part of spring 2017 were characterized by above average temperatures and a climate which, on the whole, was a dry one. Bud break began during the first week of April and was followed, a few weeks later, by A damaging frost which reduced the final production without, however, damaging the quality of the harvested grapes. Light rain in May preceded a summer season which was, in general, hot and dry and was accompanied warm winds as well. The harvest began during the last days of August with the picking of the Merlot and then continued from the second week of September on with the Syrah and the other complementary grapes.
After destemming and pressing, the must was given a cold maceration on its skins to fully bring out the fruit of the various grape varieties in the blend. The fermentation was carried out at temperatures held to a maximum of 82°Fahrenheit (28° centigrade) and lasted approximately ten days. Seventy percent of the wine then went into 60 gallon French oak barrels used either once or twice previously where the malolactic fermentation also took place, while the other 30% was aged in stainless steel tanks. In the final phase, Achelo was bottled during the last months of 2018.
The Fattoria La Braccesca estate, whose overall surface extension is over 1250 acres (508 hectares), consists of two different vineyard blocks. The historical nucleus of the property, 255 acres (103 hectares) under vine, is located in the township of Montepulciano, while the other block, with approximately 590 acres (237 hectares) of vineyards, is situated at the foot of the hills which surround the town of Cortona.
The 2017 Achelo shows an intense ruby/purple in color. On the nose, ample and enveloping notes of red and black berry fruit fuse with spicy sensations of vanilla and varietal hints of black pepper typical of Syrah. The palate is ripe and supple with a pleasurable persistence heightened by an aftertaste of black fruit such as cassis and blackberry jam along with vanilla as well.