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Wine Reviews

Tua Rita, Redigaffi 2014

 

Tua Rita was the Super Tuscan to kickstart all Super Tuscans - the first 100-point recipient from any notable wine critic for an Italian wine. 

Quite the feat when you consider that Rita Tua, the estate's founder, and her husband Virgilio Bisti had simply wanted to retire in the Suvereto countryside, and maybe make some olive oil. And what more that the Tua Rita estate had only gotten its start in 1984, with little generational winemaking practices to rest upon.

Nevertheless, the couple had decided why not make something of the 40 acres - they began to plant Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. By 1992, the first Tua Rita wines, named Giusto di Notri were ready - it shot off to a great start especially as there was a then small but growing interest in the region's wines. Tua Rita's wine were billed as being an exceptional and pure representation of the Tuscan terroir. But there was more to come - they would decide to leave two barrels of Merlot to vinify alone. This birthed the Redigaffi label that would ultimately clinch Italy's first 100-point rating from wine critic Robert Parker.

 

 

The vineyard which sits on a hill facing the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the little village of Suvereto, holds medium-textured soils that are stony and loamy, packed with silt, clay and are mineral rich with iron and zinc, all of which Tua Rita has been able to express in its wine. This success put the couple on to investing more heavily into their winemaking, and since then their estate has grown to over 50 hectares, also harvesting Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Syrah, as well as white varieties including Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Riesling, Traminer and others.

The vineyard is managed by Luca d'Attoma, and has practiced high density planting, organic farming, and only uses indigenous yeasts. Grapes are hand-picked and de-stemmed, before being transferred to conical wooden vats for fermentation. Maceration lasts 25-30 days, with carefully regulated remontage. Once fermentation is done, wine is transferred by gravity flow into oak barriques for malolactic fermentation, before being matured in oak for at least 18 months. As Virgilio has passed away in 2010, the estate is now operated by Tua's son-in-law, Stefano, joined by her daughter, Simena.

 

 

While the estate produces 5 reds and 2 whites, it is ultimately the 100% Merlot Redigaffi that Tua Rita is best known for - probably besides the eye-catching artworks that don the labels of Tua Rita's wines. Those are the works of Italian artist Raffaele De Rosa, a family friend, whose works typically consists of dream-like fantasy snapshots that are inspired by historical stories and characters, as well as myths and legends.

With all that said, let's try the Tua Rita Redigaffi 2014 vintage. 

Tua Rita, "Redigaffi" 2014 (1.5L Magnum) - Review

100% Merlot, Maremma in Tuscany, Suvereto DOCG Appellation, Soil: stony with silt, clay and sand.

 

Tasting Notes

Aroma: Big and aromatic bouquet here, exceptionally well expressed with notes of clove and tobacco, and a distinct punchiness of curry leaves and bay leaves that is quite intense.

Taste: Rich and full bodied, it is sweeter and filled with raspberry fruit jams and cordial. There’s adjacent notes of cassis and blackcurrant, as well as stewed plums. That said, it is not dense, and carries itself with a silkiness, as well as being fresh and without spices. It is very well expressed and not muddled, with an elegance to its simplicity.

Finish: More mellow with a jamminess of an assortment of red fruit jam, deep earthiness of tobacco leaves, and a lighter tannin backbone.

 

My Thoughts

A very interesting bouquet that carried a highly distinctive and definite scent of curry leaves and bay leaves - it felt reminiscent of Indian curries. On the palate was a satisfying richness and fuller body that is always much appreciated with lovely raspberry jams - it had a silkiness about it that was texturally pleasing and altogether felt elegant with its simplicity that was well expressed. The finish was juicy and bountiful with just a light tannin backbone to offer a slight bit of tension.

 

 

@CharsiuCharlie