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Le Pupille, Saffredi

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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 attitude, the vineyards are located 280 metres above sea level and the welcome breeze of the Tyrrhenian Sea. We have noted over the last two years that Maremma is a wine region to watch, located just south of Bolgheri, it benefits from similar terroir and climatic aspects; Italy’s leading winemakers are investing heavily here. However, 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 a 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, 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 Le Sommer, who up until 1999 was the Oenologist at Chateau Latour. In 2011, Le Sommer handed over the reins to Luca D’Attoma, who has already reached new heights with the wonderful 2012 vintage.

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