We do not believe we have ever offered a Morellino di Scansano before. This wine emanates from Scansano in the Maremma region on Tuscany’s coastline. And the Morellino bit? That’s the local name for the Sangiovese variety and literally means ‘little dark one’.Simon's offer, below.
It is something of an overlooked appellation, or rather DOCG (the Italian equivalent) and therefore it can still offer value in the right vintage and when the wine has been made by a skilled winemaker. Even though the area has, as you might expect, a rich winemaking history going back to Etruscan times, it doesn’t share the same limelight as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino or even Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. The region does however tick a number boxes in terms of suitability for vineyards; it lies at 150 metres over sea level, with its climate moderated by coastal breezes and its vineyards, based on volcanic soils, have a south-west orientation.
The style of wine from Scansano is often appealing when young, with Sangiovese (Morellino) ripening to yield softer-natured, rounder wines than you might encounter further north and inland in Tuscany. Given the early drinking appeal, Morellino, in its simplest form, is released the March after harvest, with many examples consumed probably shortly thereafter. To qualify as a Riserva, it must be matured for two years before release, one year of which must be in barrel.
An estate with whom we have worked before, Fattoria Le Pupille, run by Elisabetta Geppetti, has recently sought to change their approach to their Morellino di Scansano Riserva production and the results are seriously impressive, particularly in the outstanding 2013 vintage. You may recall this estate as we have previously offered their Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend ‘Saffredi’ that has won numerous plaudits over recent years. It seems that Geppetti and her consultant oenologist, the renowned Luca d’Attoma, are pushing the quality of Le Pupille’s production ever higher. Selection of fruit in the vineyard is stricter and the use of new oak has been eased back to ensure it does not overshadow the ripeness of the fruit. Subtle changes, but that was all that was needed to elevate the standing of this impressive estate.
I would urge you to consider the price when reading the notes and scores below.
2013 Morellino di Scansano Riserva, ‘Poggio Valente’, Fattoria Le Pupille
£120 per 6 bottle case in bond
92 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
Le Pupille's 2013 Poggio Valente Riserva represents a clear stylistic departure from the past. Powerful, expressive and also dense, the 2013 nevertheless presents a super-classic interpretation of structure. Far from an easygoing wine, the 2013 is going to need at least a few years to come into its own. This is the second vintage aged in 500-600L barrels, a choice that has given the Poggio Valente a much more classic feel. The 2013 has only recently been bottled, but it is pretty impressive just the same. I can't wait to see how it ages.
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