JEWELS OF TUSCANY New Releases – Another sort of Bordeaux.

by Patrick Sandeman

JEWELS OF TUSCANY New Releases – Another sort of Bordeaux.








First tasted at the Tenuta San Guido estate in September 2010, when I visited with Jancis Robinson. In a line up of three vintages, 2007, 2008 and 2009 (the latter two from cask), Jancis likened them in style to Lafite, Latour and Mouton, in that order. The 2008 was very complete, with very little oak showing through (they only use 20% new oak) Still primary fruit, but quite delicious, savoury and very fresh, with super fine tannins and a beautifully restrained finish. Tasted again at Vinitaly (under very hot conditions) the wine had closed up considerably but still showed extraordinary class. Many say that this is the best Sassicaia to date and it is difficult not to agree.


We only have LIMITED stock of this vintage at this exceptional price and may have to restrict orders.








SASSICAIA 2008 Tenuta San Guido

£510 per 6 bottles In Bond (£630.00 per 6 bottles duty paid including Vat)

£520 per 3 magnums In Bond (£642.00 per 3 magnums duty paid including Vat)


Very intense purplish crimson. Intense, quite dry nose. Lots of rich, ripeness on the front palate. Much more intense than the 2007 but with the trademark dry finish. Will be bottled in November 2010. Extremely vibrant. Bit bigger than the 2007, with masses of structure. Latour-ish. 13.5% 18.5 Drink 2013-2030  18.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE ( 




PALEO 2007, MESSORIO 2007 & SCRIO 2007


My visit in September 2010 with Jancis coincided with the release of the 2007 vintage and was part of a week of tastings for international journalists. The day we arrived was for Italian journalists and rather bizarrely an English chef had been drafted in to showcase such delights as Steak and Kidney pie and Apple Crumble with (thick) custard, which the Italians found highly unusual in a very polite sort of way. The wines at least reflected well, all the more so for their freshness and deft touch in the capable hands of Cinzia Merli (Campolmi) who is concentrating more these days on purity of fruit both in the vineyard (moving towards biodynamic) and in the winery, with much less new oak in evidence. These are beautiful wines and this was one of the best tastings I have done at Le Macchiole.


Cinzia Merli and family take the single-varietal route, concentrating on bottlings of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah designed to express the terroir of their particular densely planted corner of Bolgheri, just an umbrella pine forest away from Antinori’s Guado al Tasso estate. They have moved to simple concrete fermenters  in a shape that is currently hugely fashionable here. Jancis Robinson MW OBE (



Paleo, Le Macchiole 


PALEO 2007 Le Macchiole

£195 per 6 bottles In Bond (£249.60 per 6 bottles duty paid including Vat)

£210 per 3 magnums In Bond (£225.00 per 3 magnums duty paid including Vat)


The Paleo 2007 is a beautifully expressive wine, packed with aromatic fruit, concentrated and rich with silky tannins and impressive length. Cabernet Franc at its best with tremendous polish and lift.


100% Cabernet Franc. Very ripe nose. Mildly aromatic but with lots of sweetness, even a hint of oak still. But very well made and balanced. Mild and more fragrant and polished than a Cabernet Sauvignon would be. A little bit of alcohol on the end. Pretty marked tannins at the moment. A slight green note at the end. Drink 2013-2020. Jancis Robinson MW OBE (


The 2007 Paleo Rosso (Cabernet Franc) offers up a compelling, nuanced array of smoke, dark cherries, mocha and grilled herbs in a style that reveals considerable richness and opulence but also quite a bit of verve, minerality and sheer structure. The wine has begun to shut down considerably since it was bottled and will require quite a bit of patience. Still, it is impossible to miss the silkiness of the tannins, the impeccable purity of the finish and the wine’s exceptional overall sense of harmony. This brilliant effort will be a joy to follow over the coming years. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027. 95 points. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate


SCRIO 2007 Le Macchiole

Limited stock which may have to be allocated 

£395 per 6 bottles In Bond (£504 per 6 bottles duty paid including Vat)


Undoubtedly the best Scrio that I have tasted here, and the most impressive, without relying on sheer weight of fruit or oak. Expressive, sweet, leathery fruit with a really mind-blowing finish. The only disappointment here is the tiny quantity available!


100% Syrah. Plants from Hermitage, they say. There’s a slightly oaky note on this as well as on Paleo 2007 at first but it dissipated. Some dry leatheriness on the end – muscular north-Rhône characteristics. Pretty and pure. UK importer Patrick Sandeman says previous vintages were always a bit heavy – this the best vintage to date, much more delicate. Very fine. Sweet liquorice. 2012-2018. Jancis Robinson MW OBE (


The estate’s 2007 Scrio (Syrah) is simply breathtaking. This rich, opulent red caresses the palate seamlessly with masses of dark fruit in a large-scaled expression of Syrah. Spices, mint and flowers develop in the glass, adding further shades of nuance. The plushness of the fruit builds towards a rich, immensely rewarding finish. Scrio is fermented in open-top French oak barriques, and the oak is noticeable at this stage, so the wine is best left alone in the cellar for a few years. This is magnificent juice! Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027. 96 points. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate



MESSORIO 2007 Le Macchiole

Limited stock which may have to be allocated

£750 per 6 bottles In Bond (£918.00 per 6 bottles duty paid including Vat)

£295 per magnum In Bond (£369.00 per magnum duty paid including Vat)


Tasting Messorio in its youth it is difficult not to be seduced by its intensely powerful rich, sweet fruit and new oak, all of which needs time to come together. However the 2007 is immediately striking for its elegance too, which is largely as a result of oak selection and shorter time in barrel, as well as an even more rigid selection of fruit in the vineyard. Deservedly sought after and highly priced, but still a lot less than the other famous Merlot of this region, Messorio.


100% Merlot. Rich and ripe then lifted. Lots of pleasure here. Sweet and transparent. Very far from the sort of Masseto model. Mineral. This wine is usually pretty closed at this age apparently. There is definite sweetness here. From 2007 they have been even more vigilant on the provenance of oak and the period of oak ageing. Untoasted oak. Some spice but pretty linear and slightly inky. Drink 2013-2020. Jancis Robinson MW OBE (


The 2007 Messorio is another standout. A super-ripe expression of fruit is balanced with considerable structure, delicacy and finesse, with scents of mocha, graphite, French oak, licorice and new leather that emerge over time. Over the last few months the Messorio has absorbed its oak beautifully. The finish is long, nuanced and utterly impeccable. That said, this remains an intense, towering wine in need of a long slumber. The 2007 isn’t one of the more massive Messorios, instead it is a wine built on elegance. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027. 96 points. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate



CASTELLO DEL TERRICCIO Castellina Marrittima



Terriccio is one of Tuscany’s most beautiful and well situated estates on the Maremma coast benefitting from wonderful views out to sea, and the fresh coastal breezes and clarity of light that allow the vines to grow so healthily. The wines here have been made by Carlo Ferrini since the very beginning, and now that he, like so many of the best winemakers, has cut back on the amount of oak given to the wines, there is a purer expression of fruit and a greater lift in these wines. Both Tassinaia, the fabulous value wine of the estate, and Lupicaia, the fabulously expensive wine of the estate (though probably worth it if you can afford it, and compared to a lot of Bordeaux perhaps not so expensive) very much reflect the character of Terriccio; spice, balsam, eucalyptus and depth of fruit.  Terriccio (destined to become known simply as Castello) is a relatively new wine to the estate, based upon Syrah, Mourvedre, Tannat and Cabernet Franc. The 2006s are truly gorgeous.


The nearest town is Castellina Marittima but that is incidental since the estate extends over 1,700 ha. It took two hours to tour it, in a terrifying three-car cavalcade cross country, or rather through mud, after one of the wettest Septembers they had known. Only 50 ha are currently planted with vines in production, mainly with international varieties although the energetic owner is always in search of novelty. Gian Annibale Rossi di Medelana, or ‘Pucci’, could not love this estate more and is now trying out the new Cabernet x Grenache cross Marselan with great enthusiasm. Carlo Ferrini consults. Tassinaia is definitely the best buy here; the top wine Lupicaia seems relatively overpriced. Jancis Robinson MW OBE (





TASSINAIA 2006 Castello del Terriccio

£95 per 6 bottles In Bond (£109.80 per 6 bottles duty paid including Vat)


Good vintage here. Dark crimson. Scented and more obviously Cabernet than either 2004 or 2005 on the nose. Very succulent and juicy with very fine spine. Still quite chewy tannins but lovely velvety fruit. 14% Drink 2011-2016. 17.5. Jancis Robinson MW OBE (


The 2006 Tassinaia flows from the glass with beautifully delineated layers of dark fruit, mocha, espresso, licorice, leather and spices. This is an unusually ripe, expansive Tassinaia with enough richness and sheer pedigree to challenge some of the estate’s more expensive bottlings. Sweet grilled herbs and spices add a final flourish on the powerful close, with notes of brightness from the Sangiovese that act as a foil to some of the darker nuances in the wine. In 2006 Tassinaia is nothing short of magnificent. Tassinaia is Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018. 93 points. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate


TERRICCIO Castello del Terriccio

£200 per 6 bottles In Bond (£270 per 6 bottles duty paid including Vat)


The first vintage was 2000 but there was no 2001. Mainly Syrah with Mourvèdre, a tiny bit of Tannat and Cabernet Franc. It may eventually contain the owner’s new passion, Marselan. ‘I met this very pleasant, clever nurseryman near Chambéry and went for two summers with him for a couple of weeks to taste wine all along southern France because I wanted to make a more Mediterranean wine. He knew everyone. We tried almost 100 different wines. At the end of a long discussion, we chose these varieties.’ Quite dark crimson. Very heady and glamorous. Great balance. Great quality achieved by putting only, say, 40% of the Syrah crop into it. Mulberries. Good freshness. Quite evolved already. Drink 2010-2016. 17.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE (



LUPICAIA 2006 Castello del Terriccio

£300 per 6 bottles In Bond (£390.00 per 6 bottles duty paid including Vat)


The flagship wine. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 8-9% Petit Verdot. Round and chewy and polished. Lush. Lifted, fresh tea-leaf aromas. Very grippy for the moment. Drink 2012-2020. 17.5. Jancis Robinson MW OBE (


The 2006 Lupicaia is a highly promising effort. A melange of black fruit, leather, licorice, tar, cassis and minerals sits on a massive, brooding frame. Sage, rosemary and violets develop in the glass, adding further complexity. The Lupicaia reveals gorgeous depth and striking purity in its fruit. As is often the case, it is painfully young at this stage, but all that is required is a few more years in bottle. Lupicaia is Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot that spent 18 months in French oak. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. . 94 points. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate




MINIMUM ORDER from this offer is 12 bottles.

ORDER by telephone to your usual branch or by email.

PAYMENT invoices will be raised for immediate payment.

IN BOND orders subject to a £15 handling charge (free of charges for Elephant storage customers).

DELIVERY of Sassicaia 2008 and Lupicaia 2006 will not take place before July 2011.




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