“The land is my choice of life, as making wine has always been my profession”
Fattoria Le Pupille began its renaissance in 1985 when proprietor Elisabetta Geppetti began revitalizing the property and the vineyards around the town of Pereta in Maremma, the untamed, wild Tuscan coastal region. Determined to make great wine, she enlisted the help of the late Giacomo Tachis, the Father of many great Tuscan wines, and together they replanted vineyards, analyzed soils and plotted the course for yet another masterpiece: Saffredi.
|~ Farming ~
This passion to make great wine was not a surprise to Geppetti; in fact, it was the culmination of a long dream; as she relates:
“I understood that I wanted to make wine at the age of 20, during one of the many harvests in the family estate. I have inherited my love for wine from my grandfather, but then a passion grows through its own channels. I wanted to make great wines and I wanted to do it here, in this beloved land. Then with time I felt that everyone, including myself, is the product of our land and since then I understood that wine is, and has to be, bonded with the history of the men who live here, it has to converse and grow with them.”
Overall the Le Pupille estate encompasses 420 hectares and today, 75 of those are devoted to vines while the remainder is a mosaic of olive groves, cereals, cork oaks, and forestry. 5 of those hectares are devoted to the Saffredi vineyard, a special place with prime exposition that sits approximately 250 meters above sea level.
With the help of the aforementioned Tachis, the first vintage of Saffredi was produced in 1987. The blend has changed throughout the years but today the blend is predominantly Cabernet, with additions of Merlot and Petit Verdot. Saffredi takes its name from the Grandfather of Elisabetta’s daughters, Freddi, who helped realize the dream of planting this vineyard, but never got to taste the fruits of his hard work.
Planted in 1980, the vineyard is now approaching 40 years of age. Today, we’re reporting on an example we pulled from the cellar; the 1997 Saffredi.
The wine was decanted for nearly an hour to allow the aromas to develop but also to remove a major sediment that had formed in the bottle. In the glass, the color is a deep ruby with purple tinges, still very youthful looking at 19 years of age. In the decanter, it appears darker still.
At once you are struck by aromas of mint, tea leaf, tobacco, black plums and cherry. Complex, bottle sweet aromas are simply wonderful. On the palate, the wine seems tighter than I would expect. The large scaled core of black fruit is accented with rosemary, clove, vanilla and tobacco, but the tannins are still rather pronounced. With the meal, a grilled leg of lamb, it was outstanding. In the absence of food, the tannins clamp down on the finish and rob the wine of some of its elegance. I’m not sure I would cellar this longer, but maybe decant it closer to 2 hours the next time. 95 points, about $75 upon release. Current vintages are priced similarly so shop around.
Saffredi is vinified in stainless steel and then aged in French barrique for 18 months prior to release, 75% of which are new barrels and 25% seeing their second passage.
|~ Saffredi 1997 is Cabernet, Merlot, and Alicante ~