Fattoria Le Pupille Morellino di Scansano 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The operating nucleus of the property, from early 2000, is in proximity of Istia d'Ombrone, nearby Grosseto. The property is an antique farmhouse and its silhouette is present in some of the most recognizable wine labels of Le Pupille, the whole winery is surrounded by a 12 hectares vineyard, including a small patch destined to an experimentation of old Sangiovese grapes, coming from ancient vine rows. At first it is difficult to imagine that this large, quiet house is the beating heart of an agricultural activity, it rather seems like a noble residency surrounded by a large english style lawn and a myriad of flowers. Then the smell of must reveals the presence of a winery hidden by ivy, and once one enters the well-finished environment, the offices and tasting room appear like a succession of drawing rooms that the house owner has made to be warm and welcoming.
Legend has it that the region’s prized red grape, Sangiovese, took its name locally from the rusty, red “Morelli” horses that used to carriage high officials to and from the village of Scansano in the 1700s. Today the region’s most valuable wine, known as Morellino di Scansano, is of a similar blend as Chianti with a minimum of 85% Morellino (Sangiovese) and 15% other local varieties. But Scansano’s hilly, coastal location gives a full-bodied, and more fruit forward and less acid-driven red compared to its inland neighbor.
The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Italy's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino
Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and on the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed success growing in California and Washington.
In the Glass
Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.
Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.
Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.