Guardiola is the highest in elevation of Terre Nere's own vineyards, ranging from 800 to almost 1,000 metres elevation and comes from a small 1.5 hectare parcel of 50-70 year old vines. And, naturally, as one climbs higher, the soil becomes poorer. Guardiola being no exception, its make up being mostly lean volcanic sand and basaltic pebbles of sorts, with a little ash thrown in. And equally naturally, the slopes become steeper, the terracings narrower in order to compensate. Vineyard management all manual and singularly difficult. The altitude drives the acidity in the wine, the lean soil accentuates the tannins. Ripening is, therefore, of the essence.
Guardiola is particularly attractive. Always the tightest wine, the most difficult and sometimes askew when young, it still remains a favourite. It may be its focused intensity, the tension of a coiled spring; or the sense of austere purity it delivers; or the uniquely high-toned, almost stony bouquet. Or probably because all of the above together make for a wine of very powerful character. Of all crus it is the one requiring more time to release and relax. The sinew releases its tension just a bit, the tannins soften, the wine’s authority remains. Pork, steak, sausages, game, braised meats.
“Where it all began. The first vineyard, the first Tenuta delle Terre Nere wine in 2002, the first Etna Rosso to bring the Contrada back on the label and the first in a Burgundy bottle. Of all our crus Guardiola is the one with the highest altitude, from 900 to 1000 meters, at the extreme limit of the DOC. Over time, we came to know our Guardiola vineyard better and better and its wine has become particularly attractive. Always the most closed and difficult wine, it might be a tiny unbalanced when young, but it still remains a favorite. It might be because of its intensity, like the tension in the release of a spring, or its almost merciless purity; or its austere, rigorous minerality. Possibly because from all of this, a character of great power and originality comes into one. Of all the crus it is the one that takes the most time to relax and express itself. The backbone loses tension, the tannins soften, the authority and vigor remain.”. Marco de Grazia