Fattoria Le Pupille Saffredi has been one of the globe’s leading wines since 2011, with a sequence of scores surpassing the First Growths and leading Cult Californians. James Suckling adorned the 2011 with 95 points, the 2012 with a perfect 100 points, the 2013 with 98 points and today’s exciting release, the 2015 with 99 points. These scores have been mirrored by the Wine Advocate, with it receiving 96 points in 2010, 93 in 2011 and 95 in 2012. The 2015 is yet untasted by the Wine Advocate, but we can expect fireworks. However, the near perfect score from Suckling suggests this will follow the trajectory of the 2012, which already trades at £325 per case of six. Suckling even goes as far to say that Saffredi is “The Lafite of Tuscany”!
The 2015 vintage was superb across the leading regions in Europe. In Tuscany, it saw exceptionally dry and hot weather during the summer, resulting in concentrated ripe berries. The wines have been met with real excitement, particularly those heralding from Chianti, reminiscent of the 2010 vintage. Suckling adores the 2015, ‘I love the currant and rosemary character of this wine. Some sage, too. Complex aromas that draw you in. Full body, extremely tight and chewy with a long and intense finish. The tannins are fantastic – so polished. Focused and beautiful.’
Scansano, the capital of Morellino, is an area in Maremma with a noble pedigree in winemaking. Scansano itself is located just south of the large town of Grosseto and benefits greatly from the combination of the welcome breeze of the Tyrrhenian Sea and altitude where the vineyards are located 280 metres above sea level. Maremma is sited just south of Bolgheri located, it benefits from similar terroir and climatic aspects. In the mid-1980s Elisabetta Geppetti made this region famous, with her Estate, Le Pupille, which is named after twin hills found around the original six hectares of vineyard. Still in her twenties Geppetti took the world of wine by storm in the guise of her greatest wine, Saffredi, so named to honour her mentor and Father-in-Law, ‘Fredi’, who previously owned the Estate. Saffredi, which started life as 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, quickly established Geppetti as a winemaking genius and attracted the father of Italy’s Super Tuscan wines, Giacomo Tachis, who began working with Geppetti.
The first vintage was bottled in 1987 and was an immediate success when it was released to market in 1990. Since then, Geppetti has worked hard to increase production in order to meet the heavy international demand, rising from 9,000 bottles to 30,000, yet this still represents a meagre 2,500 cases – not nearly enough! The vineyard covers four hectares, with a south-eastern exposure, the Merlot vines face northwest; the soil is rich in chalk and ancient skeletal matter. The wine today sees a high percentage of new oak, 80% and 20% in second usage barriques, where it ages for 20 months.
Since the heady days of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon the wine’s composition has changed, in 1993 Merlot was introduced, the blend this year is made up of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot, although this changes every vintage to reflect the very best possible blend, sometimes including Syrah. From 2000 until 2011 the Estate boasted the famous Oenologist, Christian Sommer, who up until 1999 was at Chateau Latour. In 2011, Sommer handed over the reins to Luca D’Attoma, who has already reached new heights with the wonderful perfect scoring 2012 vintage, the 2013, the 2014 and now the stellar 2015, are stretching the qualitative limits of the Estate.
We have a limited amount of cases available to offer today, including single magnums packed in their own case priced at £130 in bond, along with double magnums, priced at £295 and an imperial, priced at £615 in bond. The potential perfect score means that this will sell out very quickly, the global demand outstrips its meagre production.
Le Pupille Saffredi 2015, 6×75 - £320 IB
99 Points, James Suckling
I love the currant and rosemary character of this wine. Some sage, too. Complex aromas that draw you in. Full body, extremely tight and chewy with a long and intense finish. The tannins are fantastic – so polished. Focused and beautiful. Mineral undertone with ash and hot stone highlighting the dark fruits. It goes on for minutes. Needs three or four years to come together. But a serious red all the way.
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