So much attention is paid to Sassicaia, and rightly so.  It’s the patriarch of Maremma reds, the first in what is now a significant line of Bordeaux inspired reds coming from coastal Tuscany.  For many, Sassicaia, now $200+ per bottle, is out of reach. Fortunately, there are similar wines that are just as good. 
One such find is the 2001 Castello del Terriccio Lupicaia.   Hailing from the Maremma region of Tuscany, when loosely translated, “Lupicaia”  means ”place where the wolf hunts.” It‘s a single vineyard of 12.5 acres planted in 1989 and consisting of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. The Lupicaia vineyard is Terriccio’s finest and yields its best grapes. Exposure is sloped, southwest-facing and the soil consists of stones and sand which are sheltered by eucalyptus trees. The estate’s proximity to the coast also subjects it to maritime influences which create a long, warm growing season.  Lupicaia production is supervised under the technical direction of consulting oenologist Carlo Ferrini.
The 2001 has matured beautifully. The wine was decanted to remove a large amount of coffee grind like sediment. There was substantial crusting near the neck of the bottle as well.  In the glass, the wine is a purple black color.  Effusive aromas escape and fill the room with blackberry, menthol, fresh leather, dusty minerals and licorice.  In the mouth, there’s a laser beam of ripe black fruit that dominates the mid palate which is surrounded by bitter cocoa, suede, roasted coffee and cedar flavors. Fresh acidity and good ripe tannic structure balance the wine which is clearly capable of drinking now or remaining in the cellar.  Delicious with roasted garlic encrusted rack of lamb.  Upon release, about $65.  95 points. 

2001 Lupicaia: 90% Cabernet, 10% Merlot

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