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Tua Rita Giusto di Notri 2016
The Giusto di Notri opens with intoxicating aromas of blackberries, plums, and dried flowers, while the palate offers finely-grained tannins and an impressive structure which will help the wine to age well over the next decade or so. It makes an impressive partner for rich dishes like beef bourguignon or a bowl of fresh pasta served with a hearty ragu sauce.
This wine takes its name from the patron saint of Suvereto, “Giusto”, where the Tua Rita estate is located. Inspired by the great wines of Bordeaux, the Giusto di Notri is a masterful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc which are planted on pebbly soils on the estate. Following the harvest in September the grape skins and juice are macerated for up to 30 days to add intensity to the wine. The new wine is then aged in French oak barrels for 20 months before bottling and release.
The Tua Rita estate was founded by Rita Tua and her husband who purchased the estate in 1984. In 2000 the estate shot to international acclaim when legendary wine critic Robert Parker awarded their single varietal Merlot wine, Redigaffi, a perfect 100-point score. Today Tua Rita has a reputation for producing some of southern Tuscany’s most impressive Super Tuscan wines.
Antinori Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato 2018
The Antinori Family have been winemakers since the 13th century in winemaking and are best known for their magnificent Super Tuscan wine named Tignanello. A powerhouse name in the industry, the Antinoris today have set up wineries all over the world and are experts in picking out estates to invest in. Their Guado al Tasso property has a unique setting in Bolgheri where the plain is encircled by rolling hills forming a protected amphitheatre shape.
The terroir here is well suited to international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc which are all used in the composition of Il Bruciato. The wine opens with intense dark berry aromas and savoury, earthy hints which deepen and evolve on the palate into cassis, black cherry, and herbal notes. The terroir here favours elegance, crafting a wine with a well-defined structure yet balanced by plenty of freshness.
The refined power and rich flavour profile of this wine makes it an excellent choice for extended cellar ageing. It will continue to evolve and develop over the years if kept in cool, dark conditions. For those who prefer to drink it now, it can be enjoyed paired with charcuterie or red meat dishes.
Rocca di Frassinello Ornello 2014
The Ornello takes its name from the distinctive long stick that is traditionally used for driving cattle in Tuscany’s coastal Maremma region. Just like the “butteri”, or the local cowboys who have worked on these lands for centuries, this striking wine is the unique product of this terrain and offers an effortless combination of power and elegance that is sure to captivate the drinker.
A vibrant cherry red hue and hints of crushed berries, ground coffee, and undergrowth are immediately apparent as you pour the first glass, followed by enticing flavours of kirsch, dried herbs and dark chocolate on the palate. The Ornello has a firm structure and well-defined tannins thanks to the Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah components of the blend, along with balancing acidity and a rounded mouthfeel due to the influence of the Sangiovese and Merlot.
Following the harvest and vinification process, the Ornello is aged in oak barrels for 6 months and then aged in the bottle for a further 5 months until it is deemed ready for release. This adds distinctive notes of sweet spices and vanilla to the wine and makes the Ornello an ideal partner for a generous platter of charcuterie or cheeses.
Tenuta Sette Ponti Orma 2014
Named “Orma” after the Italian word for “footprint”, this graceful wine is the rich reward of former fashion moghul Antonio Moretti’s search for prime wine-growing areas in coastal Bolgheri in the province of Livorno. The land here has long held a reputation for producing stunning red wines thanks to a favourable combination of deep pebbly soils, cooling Mediterranean breezes and hot summers ideal for ripening grapes.
Representing Antonio Moretti’s bold new venture in this relatively young wine region, Orma is a Bordeaux-style blend is a careful composition of 50% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. After careful hand-harvesting and selection, the grapes are macerated and fermented for a period of 18 days to gently extract optimum tannins and flavours. The wine is then left to rest in French oak barrels for 12 months and spends a further 12 months in the bottle before it is deemed ready for release.
On the nose Orma exudes classic hints of intense dark berries, sweet spices and tobacco which complement the deep blackberry, cassis and bitter licorice flavours on the palate. Like many Bordeaux-style blends from the region, the firm structure of the wine and vibrant acidity promises great ageability with a cellaring potential of at least a decade. If you do decide to enjoy it now, consider serving it alongside hard cheeses, roasted meat or even game dishes to accentuate the ripe fruit character and soften the tannins.
Felsina Castello di Farnetella Poggio Granoni 2016
Nestled in the thickly forested hills of Colli Senesi, Castello di Farnetella is blessed with high elevation vineyards planted on sand, clay and limestone soils. Conditions here are perfect for producing exceptional red wines like this Super Tuscan which is composed of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah grapes.
To produce the best quality grapes possible, the Poggiali family hand harvest their fruit and practice organic and sustainable agriculture. They have also begun to incorporate some biodynamic principles and only use their own estate-grown grapes in their Chianti and Poggio Granoni wines.
The Poggio Granoni is the estate’s flagship wine and is well-structured with plenty of silky smooth tannins and intense notes of dark plum, cherry, blackberry and hints of dried Mediterranean herbs and leather. In the winery the young wine is aged in oak barrels for 12 months and then aged for a further 10 months in the bottle before it is deemed ready for release. This is a powerful wine that is ideal to drink now alongside game, red meats, or hearty pasta dishes, but it will also perform well if kept in the cellar over the next five to six years.
Grattamacco L'Alberello Bolgheri Superiore 2016
Tuscany’s coastal Bolgheri region is still relatively young, but it has rapidly made its mark on the global wine scene thanks to a string of fabulous local wines including the world-famous Sassicaia. The Grattamacco estate was purchased in 1977 by Claudio Tipa, owner of ColleMassari in southern Tuscany, and over the years it has established a reputation for top quality Bordeaux-style blends and classic Italian wines.
L’Ablarello Bolgheri Superiore is predominantly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon which thrives in the coastal Mediterranean climate found in the region. Also included in the blend are Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot with quantities varying from vintage to vintage. All of the grapes are grown organically and as sustainably as possible, and following vinification the young wine ages in oak barrels for 18 months.
The result is an opulent and intense red with plenty of ripe cassis, dark plum and subtle spice notes. The first sip reveals a full body, firm tannins and rich dark berry flavours along with hints of smoke, mint and sweet tobacco. While accessible now when paired with hearty red meat dishes, this is an ideal wine to keep in the cellar over the next 10 years or so where it will continue to evolve and develop.