With so many outstanding wines made in central Tuscany, it is easy to forget that exceptional wines are being made on the Mediterranean Coast. Normally when we talk about Tuscan wines, we think about all the delicious wines from Chianti Classico, the so-called “Super Tuscans,” Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and of course Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino. Years ago, winemakers realized the coast offers tremendous growing conditions as a bottle from here, Sassicaia, became Tuscany’s most sought-after wine. Just south of Bolgheri, where Sassicaia is made, is the coastal region of Maremma where we find Morellino di Scansano. While other areas of Tuscany get more press, and deservedly so, Maremma is a newer area where delicious wines are being made especially in Morellino di Scansano where Elisabetta Geppetti and her winery Fattoria Le Pupille lead the way. Last year we offered the 2018 and people loved the fresh, tangy style of this wine - it became a staple in our stores. Now is a great time to taste the 2019.
At only 20 years of age, Elisabetta Geppetti took over Le Pupille, the vineyard she inherited from her father-in-law who was not interested in the wine business. This was in the mid-1980's and it only took about ten years for Le Pupille to skyrocket to success, mostly from people chasing her flagship wine, Saffredi. Saffredi is named in honor of her mentor and Father-in-law, Fredi. Saffredi is a "Super Tuscan" using Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Saffredi scores between 95 and 100 points across all vintages. Today, she is known as the “Signora del Morellino” or the Lady of Morellino. As Monica Larner says in the Wine Advocate, "There is always a single face that identifies a region: A sole producer with the charisma and communicative talents required to perform the ambassadorial duties that bring a relatively obscure wine area to the world stage. For the Maremma, that person is Elisabetta Geppetti."
Morellino di Scansano is one of the most natural and wild areas of Tuscany. For years, most of the region was swamp, that was drained many times. Vines were planted here in the 1800's, but the area did not begin to gain notoriety until much later. Producers from elsewhere in Tuscany started to buy land here as other parts of Tuscany became too expensive. It is a great place for traveling, with miles of winding roads, medieval castles, and a gorgeous coast not far away.
Morellino di Scansano earned its DOCG status in 2007. Morellino is the local name for the Sangiovese grape variety. There is some dispute in where the name origniated. Many people think that the name Morellino comes from morello, meaning brown, which is the color of the region's horses. It also could be the morello cherry, a dark red, tart cherry that looks a little like a Sangiovese grape. Morellino the wine is generally fruit-forward and structured, with excellent balance. They are usually enjoyed young when the bright fruit is at its freshest. The wine must contain at least 85% Sangiovese. The other 15% of the wine can be made up from a long list of other varietals.
This is a very versatile red wine and is one I like to have on hand at home because it works with so many different foods. This bottle is very comparable to the 2018 vintage we offered last year and is drinking great right now. The 2020 vintage is due to arrive in about a month so grab a bottle to taste while it is on sale, you might even want to buy a case!
92 Points – JamesSuckling.com
“A red with plum and cherry character, as well as hints of terracotta and rust. It’s medium-bodied with firm, tangy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. This is always a good, go-to red. Drink now.” - James Suckling, June 2020
90+ Points - Wine Advocate
“The Fattoria le Pupille 2019 Morellino di Scansano is a bright and lively value wine that trusts its basic identity to cherry, dried raspberry and some wild bramble or rosemary essence. This is a lean and sprightly red wine that boats the freshness and intensity of Sangiovese along with the wild fruit and blue flower sensations that are most often associated with this mighty Tuscan grape. I could see a happy pairing with oven-cooked pasta or lasagna.” - Monica Larner, November 2020
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