Some of my favourite wines at the moment are from Elisabetta Geppetti, from the Southern Tuscan area of Maremma. Exciting, approachable and each with their own distinct style, they’re wines I go back to again and again.
Everyone knows Tuscany for it’s great wines of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and even the more modern winemaking area of Bolgheri, but what about Maremma?
Only 20 years ago, this rugged landscape wasn’t really on many tourists top places to visit – the unspoilt beauty of Tuscany’s “wild” south didn’t have much to offer, but since then so much has changed. From top hotels, the great many restaurants and of course the flourish of new wineries, this area now makes for a real special treasure trove for wine enthusiasts to explore.
The influx of many top wine producers buying land in the area such as La Brancaia, Frescobaldi, Biondi-Santi, Fonterutoli has seen Maremma gain importance fast. Not just producing the DOCG wines of Morellino di Scansano, this new wave of producers have also been focusing on selling wines under Toscana IGT and Maremma Toscana IGT; with the use of Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Alicante.
Before the 1980’s, this coastal Tuscan area was left as it was; from the rolling hills, wild flora and was vastly unpopulated. But everything changed when people such as Elisabetta Geppetti saw the potential for a winemaking area.
Fattoria Le Pupille was the first winery to produce a “Super Maremma” red when they released Saffredi – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Alicante. Even today it still remains the one of the regions top wines, and initiated many winemakers to follow suit.
Today, with over 75 hectares of vineyards producing over 500,000 bottles every year – it’s one of the most important wineries in not only Maremma, but as an important representative from Tuscany.
Saffredi – IGT Maremma Toscana
The iconic wine of Fattoria le Pupille. Saffredi was first produced in 1987 from a vineyard bought 7 years previously by Elisbetta’s mentor and father Fredi. Although he was never able to taste the finished product, the wine was dedicated to him, and the wine quickly gained legendary status. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, the wine sees 18 months in 75% new oak barrels, and shows great complexity. From redcurrants, blackcurrants, chocolate notes, baking spices of cloves and cinnamon, it has a great well rounded velvety palate, with an aromatic complexity which engages a intense long finish.
Poggio Valente – Morellino di Scansano Riserva DOCG
I’m sat drinking this beautifully smooth wine at the moment, and it’s one I’ll return to again and again. The vineyard was purchased in 1996, on a much more hillier landscape than previously worked with. The Sangiovese planted here shows with with great intensity and elegance, it’s luxuriously smooth and expressive of the wonderful Sangiovese grape and the terroir it’s grown on. With a palate of ripe fruit, a gentle perfume and soft woody toasted notes, this wine is aged in 500l-600l tonneauxs, and is a great expression of how Sangiovese grows in a trickier terroir.
Morellino di Scansano Riserva – Morellino di Scansano Riserva DOCG
This was the first wine made by Fattoria Le Pupille (before the DOC Morellino was created) and still remains their benchmark wine. This wine shows the full potential of the Sangiovese grape (with a little Cabernet Sauvignon blended in) from the Maremma area and has produced a great expression of the landscape this area is famed for. Aged for 15 months in oak barrels, this wine shows flavours of rich red fruits, morello cherries, with notes of balsamic and spice. The tannins are perfectly balanced with the fruit flavour profile making a beautiful soft, harmonious wine to drink.
Morellino di Scansano – Morellino di Scansano DOCG
Mainly Sangiovese with some Alicante and Malvasia Nera, this young, fresh and fruity wine was first produced in 1985, and shows a real representation of the terrior in the Maremma. This wine sees a little barrel ageing, so along with the juice red fruits noted, some crisp tannins are also felt.
Pelofino – IGT Toscana Rosso
Predominantly Sangiovese with some Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc; a young, soft and fruity red wine first harvested in 2006. Lots of red fruit and cassis notes make a really well balanced wine.
Poggio Argentato – IGT Toscana Bianco
First produced in 1997, this predominantly Sauvignon Blanc blend, with small percentages of Trainer, Petit Manseng and Semillon shows an intense fresh acidity and great minerality. Aromas of white flowers which give a real feminity to the wine.
RosaMati – IGT Toscana Rosato
Named after an ancestor who invested in Le Pupille at the very beginning, this 100% Syrah shows notes of red berries, fragrant roses with a pleasant acidity.
SolAlto – IGT Toscana
A noble rot sweet wine, from the late harvested grapes of Traminer, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon in Scansano. A superb acidity of this wine, perfectly finishes the tastes of candied fruits, peach, apricot and pineapple, ripe figs and sticky dates.