On the Tuscan Coast

It’s been thirty years since Saffredi exploded on the scene, establishing Fattoria Le Pupille as a Tuscan superstar. An opulent blend of Cabernet and Merlot, Saffredi demonstrated that the coastal Maremma region could produce Bordeaux varietal wines as compelling as those of Bolgheri to the north.

But Le Pupille’s dynamic proprietor Elisabetta Geppetti has another card up her sleeve: the pure-Sangiovese 2013 Poggio Valente Riserva. With a 95+ Wine Advocate rating that places it hot on the heels of Saffredi in this vintage it is an incredible bargain.

Keys to why 2013 is the greatest vintage to date for this wine are a great Sangiovese site, a classic year, and a turn towards traditional winemaking.

Two Decades in the Making
While Geppetti made her mark with the Bordeaux-styled Saffredi, she longed to make a a wine at the same level of quality from Tuscany’s noble native variety, Sangiovese. That opportunity came in 1996 with the purchase of Poggio Valente—a rocky southwest-facing slope of sandstone, planted to old Sangiovese vines—that she had long coveted.

From the first release, Poggio Valente was a rising star, though at first it was made in a fairly modern style. But with the arrival of the famed oenologist Luca D’Attoma five years ago, Poggio Valente took a sharp turn back towards traditionalism.

D’Attoma—whose magic touch also transformed Tua Rita since his return there—has introduced larger neutral barrels, along with lowering yields. Combined with the classically proportioned fruit of the fine 2013 vintage, Poggio Valente’s purity of expression and harmony in 2013 are striking.

For its breed, depth and complexity you won’t find many values like this one in Tuscany today. 

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