Duemani was founded in 2001 in the tiny town of Riparbella, high along the Tuscan coastline north of Bolgheri. Here, the land is rough and difficult to farm with clay and stones strewn throughout the steep vineyards. Partners Luca d’Attoma and Elena Celli purchased the 7 hectares of untamed land that had been left uncultivated for years. Their goal? Handcrafted biodynamic Cabernet Franc.
Together, the Duemani (“two hands) of Elena and Luca form a dedicated team. Elena is the marketing engine of the winery while Luca is the enologist and “father” of the vineyards. They have farmed Biodynamically since 2001 and began their project with a focus on Cabernet Franc, which is prominent in their first two wines.
Luca d’Attoma counts Le Macchiole’s Paleo and Messorio to his credit. One Cabernet Franc, the other Merlot. Both, outstanding. As a result, I was excited to try a top wine from Duemani. And, after having loved Le Pupille’s Syrah, I was even more intrigued by Suisassi. After all, it was d’Attoma who helped Elisabetta Geppetti create that wine.
All that said, I was wholeheartedly let down by the subject of today’s article. Maybe I just don’t get the Duemani style? As I was preparing for this article, I looked back in my archives and found a review of Altrovino; another Duemani blend that, at least on paper, would be enticing to me. But, no. It wasn’t to be.
Then I recalled this interesting story I related from Elisabetta Geppetti: Le Pupille had been cultivating Syrah for years. The vineyard was planted in 2000 but it wasn’t until 2015 that the Syrah was micro-vinified as a stand alone wine. And I mean micro-vinified, as only 250 cases were produced. Geppetti says the reason for waiting 15 years was simple. “To craft a complex Syrah, you need mature vineyards.”
Maybe Suisassi isn’t mature enough? Maybe the Costa Toscana is a prime location? Maybe it’s just not for me? Or maybe I just don’t get it? Regardless….
The 2018 Duemani Suisassi is a deep blackish purple color. From the glass, aromas of black fruit, green herbs, smoke and minerals are alluring. On the palate, the wine is smooth and non-descript. There isn’t a tactile tannin in sight. Light to medium bodied, it offers flavors of black plum that are backed by hints of spice and little else. It seems washed out. Over the course of dinner, powdery black/white pepper emerged alongside green herbal notes – but I kept waiting for the fruit to plump up and it never did. It stayed flat, hollow, linear, listless and boring. There’s also a steely metallic edge to this that I could do with it. To me, it’s like a Crozes Hermitage from a not so good vintage. 83 points. About $150…. and completely an easy pass. Not recommended. But…. Find this wine.