Almost 3 years ago,  we published an exclusive Feature Article and Interview on Castello del Terriccio, an estate that has always impressed, yet one that seems to constantly slip under everyone’s radar.  I’ve no idea why that is.  Simply put, the estate creates three tremendous red wines:  Tassinaia, Lupicaia, and it’s newest simply called “Castello del Terriccio”.   Today’s article is the first in a series on this excellent winery.  Each article will feature different informational tidbits on the estate and include a review of the estate’s latest releases.

~ Terriccio’s Owner, Gian Annibale Rossi di Medelana ~
The overall Terriccio estate is rather large, encompassing almost 1,700 hectares in total. Perched along the Tuscan Coast, the estate has rich farmland dedicated to cereal, grain and barley production.  Despite its size, only 900 hectares are cultivated and a mere 62 of those are under vine.  Historically central to the early trappings of the estate were the raising of Competition Show Horses who graze leisurely on the farms lands.  That heritage still exists on the estate today.  

~ Love of horses is center to the estate, which stables over 60 show animals ~

Today, we are focusing on the newest release of Tassinaia.   From a 37 acre vineyard strewn with rocky stones and sandy maritime soil elements,  Tassinaia is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot.   The wine is partially fermented in stainless steel and partially in second use barrels where malolactic fermentation is completed.  

The 2010 Tassinaia is a wonderful example of the vintage, the terroir and the class that Maremma can impart to Cabernet and Merlot.   The wine is deep purple, with bright violet reflections at the rim of the bowl.  We decanted the wine for about 60 minutes prior to dinner and I suggest that’s very necessary given this wine’s youthful structure. 

From the glass, penetrating aromas of black currant, black plums, licorice, cedar, and graphite  are noticeable.  On the palate, the wine is elegant, rich and structured.  Black plums, velvety in nature, caress the mid-palate and lead to vanilla, mineral and eucalyptus notes.  Well balanced, with moderate tannins and refreshing acidity that provide length to the polished, but authentic flavors.  With the grilled london broil with a pesto aioli, the wine’s tannins melted away. Without food, this is simply too tannic to sip on at the moment.  Keep this in your cellar for 2-4 years and you will be rewarded. 93 points, about $35-$50 so shop wisely for your best value. Toward the low end, given what Bolgheri Cabernet can often cost, this wine is an incredible bargain.  Disclosure: This bottle was an importer provided sample. 

~ The two green bars on the label are a tribute to the pastoral grasslands on the estate ~

 Buon fine settimana!

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