~ The Sapaio barrel stamps bear the year of the winery’s inception: 1999 ~

“Our wine is us, and in wine we express our multifaceted nature, our knowledge and our thinking. Behind a great wine there is the great work of people who never settle for anything less than the best.”
Such is the proclamation of owner Massimo Piccin, who I recently introduced to you as part of Gambero Rosso and then in reviewing his flagship wine, Sapaio.
~ Cabernet ripening at Podere Sapaio, Bolgheri ~
Podere Sapaio lies in Maremma, in southern Tuscany near the village of Castagneto Carducci.  From its 24 hectares divided into 6 distinct vineyard plots, Massimo produces 2 wines based on the grapes that have found such a natural home here near the Tuscan coast: Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  
As mentioned above, we recently reviewed Sapaio, the estate’s flagship.  Today, we’re looking at Volpolo.  Like it’s older sibling, Volpolo, Bolgheri DOC, is sourced from the same vineyards and contains the same blend of grapes, though in slightly different proportions –  70% Cabernet, 15% Merlot and 15% Petit Verdot.  The differences lie in the grape selection and aging prior to release.  

~ Manual Harvesting at Podere Sapaio ~

The 2012 Sapaio Volpolo is a deep violet in the color with some purple reflections shimmering in the glass.  The aromas are effusive and lovely featuring black fruits, cedar, menthol and mint and hints of cigar leaf.  On the palate, the wine is refined and delicious.   Only moderately tannic, you can tell it’s vinified to be slightly more approachable.  However, the wine is still 70% Cabernet and it’s substantially medium to full bodied.  Good acidic structure and freshness. Black fruit flavors follow the nose with spice, baking spices and toast notes that are elegant and well balanced.  This is an excellent wine and although I believe Sapaio will age longer and develop more complexity,  for near term drinking and cellaring, I’m not sure Volpolo surrenders much to its older brother.  This wine is a steal around $22.  91 points.
~ The addition of Merlot makes this approachable and fleshy, but this 70% Cabernet Tuscan blend is substantial and quite the value ~
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