Those little big wines from Maremma

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Those little big wines from Maremma

By Filippo Bartolotta

Yesterday started my first tasting of wines from Maremma and tonight there’s going to be an even bigger one as I will introduce them all.

I am very proud of these active wine makers mostly from Maremma. They got their act together and started to promote their land and their products with a lot of energy, pride and passion. This time they came all the way to New York to showcase their products.

Montecucco
Montecucco

I wish them good luck. I’ll do my best to educated trade and consumers on these less known wines of Tuscany.

Maremma is a very extensive area in the south west of Tuscany, stretching from 0 to 1.700 m. a.s.l.

You can then imagine how different the soils and orographic conditions can be. Nonetheless there are some common denominators which can be found.

For a start the influence of the sea and the amount of sunlight is higher then other areas of Tuscany.

Then the Mount Amiata, an extinct volcano protect with it 1700 meters of hight the whole area from the Northern East winds making the area pretty dry.

Then I would say that Sangiovese can be considered here, like in most areas of Tuscany the king.

Starting from the North there’s the Montecucco DOC. Very young appellation which ha 6 wine makers in 2000 with a few thousand bottles and now boost a 2,5 million bottles with over 70 wineries and 500 ha of vine. The soil here tend to be quite clayish and tough and the really hot summers are mitigated by the altitude. The wines as a result tend to have generous fruit but also good tannic structure to support it. Some are made 100% sangiovese, other blended with local ciliegiolo to add up fruit and color or some international varieties to smooth out the sangiovese kick. The Riserva must age for at least two years but it isn’t uncommon to come across four years of aging.

Going SouthWest there’s Morellino di Scansano Docg. An old appellation started in 1978 which became the most wanted Italian Red during the late 90’s beginning of the 2000’s. Smoother soils then Montecucco with loads of red fruit and smooth mediterranean herbs action Morellino can go from the simplest Red to the most ambitious structured versions with the Riserva.

In the last 15 years the vine area has increased over 500% and now there’s a good 7 million bottles produced in the area.

Morellino
Morellino

The going South East from Montecucco there’s Monteregio di Massa Marittima Doc. This is a smaller DOC which can produce some pretty mineral and robust Red thanks to the Colline Metallifere area. The soil here is reach in minerals which contribute to make these wines quite interesting. Still looking for a proper stylistic definition there’s a broad spectrum of Reds and Whites.

Monteregio
Monteregio

One interesting more tufaceous soil little area in the Jerusalem of Tuscany -Pitigliano- is the Sovana DOC.

Here there a lot of very ripe style Sangiovese and ciliegiolo or some pretty mineral Trebbiano, but also a lot of dilute style whites and reds.

The Wine Town Wine selection

2006 Az. Agr. Villa Patrizia Doc Morellino di Scansano Riserva “Le Valentane”

This is a Brunello style Morellino produced by one of the historical firms in Scansano. Very leather Sangiovese with a licorice complexity, austerity and good tannic grip.

2007 ColleMassari Doc Montecucco Sangiovese Riserva “Lombrone”

100% Sangiovese from a hot vintage. Very modern and balanced wine with nice black fruit and a full bodied style.

2009 Tenuta di Montecucco Doc Montecucco Rosso “Passonaia”

Blend of Sangiovese and Ciliegiolo with an extremely fruit driven nose and palate. Simple but juicy.

2009 Tenuta Rocca di Montemassi IGT Maremma Toscana Rocca di Montemassi

The most “Californian” one of all. A four varietal blend super charged luscious cinnamon, chocolate and cloves taste.

Villa Calcinaia 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva Villa Bastignano

Single cru austere and generous red fruit Sangiovese with some tannic action and length.

Coevo 2007 Cecchi

The new Super Tuscan with classic elegant Sangiovese and Cabernet blend with a Petit Verdot ad Merlot fruit twist.

Il Borro 2007 Ferragamo

Very round and smooth Merlot/Cab/Syrah/Petit Verdot  Super Tuscan from the hills of Arezzo. Nice black currant fruit

Az. Agr. Montauto di Lepri Riccardo Igt Maremma Toscana “Enos I” 2010

This is an unusually mineral Tuscan Coast Sauvignon Blanc: very crisp/mineral crunchy fruit. Good length.

Az. Agr. Palmoletino Doc Montecucco Rosso “Scarafone” 2009

Really smooth and juicy red currant style Sangiovese with a pleasant purity. Not overly complex but delicious.

Az. Agr. Podere il Poggio Doc Montecucco Sangiovese “Sass’alSole” 2008

Super young winery with this very clean and pleasant highly drinkable Sangiovese which will please most palates.

Cantina Vignaioli del Morellino di Scansano Docg Morellino di Scansano “Sicomoro” 2007

A rather spicy and ambitious Morellino with some oak tannic presence and a leathery finish.

Cantine Ruffo di Colle Petruccio Doc Montecucco Rosso “Ruffo di Ruffo” 2009

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Civettaio Doc Montecucco Sangiovese “Civettaio” 2007

Rally nice Sangiovese with a very delicate red cherry and violets nose and smooth mineral touch on the palate.

Fattoria San Felo Docg Morellino di Scansano “San Felo” 2009

A modern blend of Morellino di Scansano with some green pepper Cab action and a earthy finish.

Morellino di Scansano Docg “Diamante Vini” 2009

Simple red fruit and a light body with some peppery notes.

Podere Ristella Igt Maremma Toscana “Vermentino” 2010

Nice with peach fruit with a round and creamy palate  and a refreshing lime and apple finish.

Poderi Firenze – Arcidosso 2008 Doc Montecucco Rosso “Sottocasa”

A very simple and smoothly made wine with lovely fruit, refreshing on the palate and well interpreted tannic profile.

Poggio Mandorlo 2007 Igt Maremma Toscana “Poggio Mandorlo”

Richly extracted red which doesn’t compromise with drinkability though. Clean baclberries and licorice.

Az. Vitivinicola Villa Corano Igt Maremma Toscana Bianco Vendemmia tardiva “Gaudium” 2010

Sweet-non sweet wine made from Malvasia di Candia by a very nice family run estate. Dry apricots and lychess.

Pitigliano
Pitigliano
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