James Suckling has said “Bibi Graetz is a freak for Old Vines….” That can surely be said of the vineyards that yield his flagship wine, Testamatta.
|Bibi Graetz with some of his open topped casks used for fermentation|
Graetz farms approximately 6 hectares of vineyards around the Tuscan town of Fiesole, near Florence. The vineyards are old and many of the vines are 60 years of age or more. All the vineyards are organic and only natural methods are used to care for the grapes and the vines. Ironically, the grapes that are used to produce Testamatta do not come from the oldest vineyards he farms.
Testamatta is 100% Sangiovese from clay and galestro vineyards that are at least 35 years old. The wine is fermented in open topped wooden casks and then aged in French oak for 18 months. According to Graetz, “everything is natural from the vineyards to the cellars. Native yeasts, no added sulfites, a pure natural expression of Sangiovese.” Graetz adds that the hallmark of Testamatta is that it “retains a wonderful balance between fruit and structure but is still very elegant with lots of finesse.”
The 2005 Testamatta, which means literally “Hot head” is indeed a special wine. In the glass, the wine is a vibrant deep purple color. It just looks serious. Aromas of crushed berry, tobacco, and flowers are intense and easily coaxed. On the palate, the wine does in fact display incredible elegance. The balance between the perfumed berry fruits and the tobacco and dried herb flavors is gorgeous. This is sensational wine. It’s contemplative and the finish goes on and on. Not inexpensive by any means, but among it’s peers, it stands out. 95 points, about $80.
|Testamatta 2005: 100% Sangiovese from Fiesole|
April 16, 2013