Fattoria Le Pupille is quite simply one of Tuscany’s greatest wine estates. Period, full stop. To me, there shouldn’t be any debate. Whether it’s their Morellino or their flagship Super Tuscan Saffredi, Fattoria Le Pupille delivers quality and value.
During the estate’s genesis, it was collaboration with Giacomo Tachis along with Elisabetta Geppetti’s drive and determination, that laid the foundation for Le Pupille’s success. Perhaps it was that collaboration that inspired Geppetti to team with another renowned consultant, Luca d’Attoma, when Le Pupille’s newest wine was conceived.
Pioneering the Future
The new wine simply bears the name “Le Pupille” and it is unique for many reasons. For starters, it is 100% Syrah. During my recent Zoom call with Elisabetta I asked what made her think of creating a pure Syrah. She didn’t hesitate. “It was something I wanted to do from the very beginning. When I was younger, I loved Cote Rotie from Guigal and because Syrah is very adaptive to its environment, I wanted to make a wine with a Mediterranean accent.”
However, the pioneering spirit didn’t stop there. Le Pupille had been cultivating Syrah for years. The vineyard was planted in 2000. Since that time, the fruit was used to produce Le Pupille’s Rosato and Pelofino. 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.”
Furthermore, Geppetti wanted a neutral vessel for fermentation. As a result, they chose clay amphora, Orci in Tuscan dialect, to ferment their Syrah. The goal was simple. The mother-daughter team wanted the Syrah to speak clearly and while the Orci allow for very slow oxygenation, they impart virtually nothing to the final wine. It is pure. It is transcendent.
I reviewed the debut vintage of this wine last year. It was a stunner. The successor vintage is equally impressive.
The 2016 Le Pupille is 100% Syrah. Unsurprisingly, the wine harkens back to the Northern Rhone wines Geppetti grew up admiring. Aromas of black pepper, wet stones, blue flowers and black fruits rise from the glass of this dark purple Syrah. Compelling!
On the palate, the wine exudes breeding and class. Juicy black fruit flavors are punctuated by new leather, cracked pepper and cured meat. Structured and deftly balanced, the tannins are smooth, powdery and mineral driven. As a result, this is delicious and with its more restrained nature relative to its 2015 sibling, will benefit from extended cellaring. 96 points. About $100 Euro. Find this wine.
This is already a benchmark Syrah from the Tuscan Maremma and I can’t wait to continue following its story.