Tenuta Licinia: in search of the forgotten vineyards of Valdichiana
Tenuta Licinia: in search of the forgotten vineyards of Valdichiana


Tenuta Licinia: in search of the forgotten vineyards of Valdichiana

James Marshall-Lockyer's farm concludes the first Sangiovese harvest, a new step in his personal project for the redevelopment of ancient clos from particular subsoils.

On the slopes of the Tuscan Apennines, near the village of Lucignano (Arezzo), Tenuta Licinia completes the first harvest destined for the debut of Montalceto Sangiovese, the result of a long search for the ideal terroir among over one hundred vineyards inspected in Valdichiana.

The winemaking reality of James Marshall-Lockyer, owner and winemaker, is based on the objective of finding and redeveloping ancient neglected or forgotten parcels characterized by particular subsoils capable of giving life to clos style wines . The production of Tenuta Licinia, in fact, is characterized by fidelity to the vintage, expressed in highly pleasant wines, less extractive and fresher, mineral and refined, thanks to the predominance and finesse of the primary aromas , a reflection of the geological composition of the specific parcel.
For his new and personal wine project, James Marshall-Lockyer inspected over one hundred vineyards and olive groves within a 30 km radius of the estate. After years of studies and 1200 hectares inspected, the winemaker has identified the only three hectares - divided into two small 1.5 ha parcels - with characteristics in line with his objectives.
“In my production of Sangiovese, which will be limited to 2500 bottles, I want to encompass all the structural and aromatic potential of the vineyard – explains James Marshall-Lockyer -. For this reason I base the production of Licinia on a meticulous study of the subsoil . I looked for limestone to obtain a distinctive floral profile and I wanted slate to give Montalceto a texture defined by velvety and opulent tannins".
The Montalceto vineyard is located at 410 m above sea level, isolated within a forest about 25 km away from the company. The slightly elevated position and the beneficial passage of air, together with a few, contained and rapid prevention interventions based on organic management of the vineyard, have preserved it from downy mildew.
“Thanks to the location of our clos and the type of management adopted, the fruits enjoyed the harmony and great energy of the plants, as well as a beautiful ripening phase – continues Lockyer –. Since I took over the reins of the company in 2021, I can say that 2023 was overall the most successful year for us.”
Three years ago, James Marshall-Lockyer took over the management of Tenuta Licinia, succeeding his grandfather and founder Jacques de Liedekerke who had purchased and renovated the property from an Italian friend in the 1970s. The estate also included a small vineyard with marl subsoil, in which Jacques planted cabernet sauvignon, a variety of which he was particularly passionate. In 2019 de Liedekerke produced the first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon Sasso di Fata , another symbolic wine of the company, characterized by a peculiar savory trait, with notes of graphite and dog rose petal, the perfect embodiment of the aromatic characteristics of the territory.
After his grandfather's death in 2022, James decided to continue the stylistic path inaugurated by Jacques with the 2019 vintage by making some improvements, which saw the 2021 vintage entirely reflect the identity of the vineyard and lay the foundations for the personal Sangiovese project .

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