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July 09, 2014

Tua Rita 2012; Redigaffi and Syrah

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Like Masseto, Redigaffi is made of 100% Merlot and aged lavishly for 18 months in new oak. In fact it derives from extremely low yielding, densely planted vines and experiences long 27 day maceration. The terroir is phenomenal, lying 100 metres above sea level in Notri, Suvereto. It is made up of medium textured clay and sand which mimics that of Petrus and helps retain water through the warm summers. The soil also has rich micro-elements of iron and zinc, which leads to wonderful minerality and fresh acidity. This painstaking winemaking combined with the superb terroir explains how Redigaffi produced a 99 point wine in 1999, from vines only 15 years old. In 2000, it received 100 points and has not received less than 95 points in the last five years. Masseto has never received 100 points and Redigaffi has consistently outperformed it.

This year Tua Rita are celebrating their 20th anniversary, which we will be offering in part two of our Tua Rita releases. During these 20 years Tua Rita and in particular Redigaffi has established itself as one of the world’s great 100% Merlot wines. In 2012 they have produced another superb wine, scoring 94-97 from Galloni, who states that “2012 could very well turn out to be one of the most compelling vintages made at Tua Rita”, calling it a ‘Pure pleasure to taste’.  In 2012 Tuscany experienced an extremely hot summer, balanced by cool nights, which allowed the grapes to become extremely ripe, concentrated and arrive at the winery incredibly healthy. These conditions have resulted in a superb wine with wonderful structure, finesse and aromatic prowess. Considering Galloni’s assertion about this vintage for Tua Rita, Redigaffi 2012 will secure the higher end of his 94-97 score, placing it on par with the 1998 vintage which already trades at £1,200 per case of six bottles.

Last year I attended a vertical tasting of Redigaffi with the owner Stefano Frascolla, beginning with the 1995 vintage, which was spectacular. Redigaffi is simply one of the most long-lived and concentrated wines we have ever tasted and even the 1996 has another 30 years of ageing in it. Each vintage displayed silky tannins balanced with fresh acidity and wonderful melted liquorice, espresso roast, black pepper, black cherry and mouth-watering blackberries. In fact most vintages have incredible amount of dry extract (sometimes 36 grams per litre) which exceeds most of the leading Pomerols.

Despite its wonderful success over the last ten years it is still a wine for those in the know. It is now becoming globally recognised and sort after and will continue to follow Masseto in its stratospheric rise. It is also one of nine Italian wines that make up the Liv-ex Power 100, entering straight at number 52. Redigaffi is exceptional and one of the rarest wines in Tuscany producing only 600 to 750 cases a year, less than half of Masseto and one quarter of Petrus. Redigaffi’s global acclaim continues to rise, being placed in the world’s restaurants and clubs, in fact Isa Bal the Master Sommelier of the Fat Duck describes Redigaffi as ‘one of the top three Merlots in the world‘.

Redigaffi 2012, 6×75 - £680 or £830.76 incl. duty and VAT 
Antonio Galloni – 94-97 points
“Another dazzling 2012 from Tua Rita, the Redigaffi is a pure pleasure to taste. Bright, floral and delineated, the 2012 is exceptionally beautiful. The aromas and flavors are so pure and resonant. This is another wine with a bright future and tons of potential.”

In addition to Redigaffi, Tua Rita now make a 100% Syrah, grown in the Colline Metallifere zone of Upper Maremma. The vines are planted on clay soils where they use organic vineyard management techniques. The first ever vintage of their 100% Syrah was made in 2001, yet it remains a collectors secret, as they only produce 3,000 bottles a year. The wine is aged for 20-22 months in new French oak barrique and left to rest for several months in bottle before being released onto the market. We have very few cases available of the 2012 which score 93-96 points from Galloni.

Syrah 2012, 3×75 - £250 or £314.76 incl. duty and VAT 
Antonio Galloni – 93-96 points
“Tua Rita has always done a fabulous job with their Syrah, but the 2012 takes things to another level. It is the first vintage in which winemaker Luca D’Attoma used a small percentage of whole clusters, a common practice throughout the world, but one that is rarely seen in Tuscany. The 2012 Syrah is intense, with layers of expressive floral and red-toned notes that captivate the senses. Fine and silky on the palate, the 2012 boasts superb personality and pure grace. I can’t wait to see how the wine develops over the coming years.” 

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