Fattoria Le Pupille Poggio Valente 2016 IGT Toscana Rosso
Philip Day discusses Fattoria Le Pupille Poggio Valente 2016 IGT Toscana Rosso. In his review he discusses the company’s history and viticulture. In addition he provides his personal tasting notes.
The sense of ‘Fattoria Le Pupille’ in English is ‘the farm of the pupils’ named after the two farmhouses situated on the peaks of two hills, which locally have always been referred to as ‘Le Pupille’ (the Pupils) overlooking the medieval village of Pereta.
These hills, home of their vineyards are part of the territory named Maremma, in the southern part of Tuscany, known by everyone for its pristine and unspoilt scenic beauty.
Prior to the establishment of the estate, the surrounding area was better known for its production of corks, wheat and growing typical woods found along the Mediterranean.
These days however, thanks to the enthusiasm and dedicated hard work of forward-looking viticulturists like Elisabetta Geppetti, wines produced in the territory of Maremma are internationally recognised.
For it was she, who as a young student, who spent her summer holidays in her family’s house, foresaw the productive potential of the countryside she loved.
The focus of Fattoria Le Pupille revolves around two of the greatest vineyards in Maremma: Saffredi and Poggio Valente. The former is a 10-hectare (24.7 acres) vineyard that was originally conceived and planted in 1987 with the help of renowned consultant Giacomo Tachis. The Poggio Valente vineyard had been initially planted in 1970. It was acquired and partially replanted by the estate in 1996 and its 14 hectares (34.6 acres) of Sangiovese vines produce grapes that lead to amazingly full bodied, luscious wines that can equal the best of the best.
In total, Fattoria Le Pupille today works 80 hectares (1976 acres) of vineyards, whose grapes go into over 500,000 bottles each year. Its brand presence can be witnessed in the markets of four continents and upholds its undisputed role as ‘Ambassador of Maremma.’
Fattoria Le Pupille was established in the 1970s and in a relatively short period of time became the benchmark for quality winemaking in the Maremma, thanks to the determination of Elisabetta Geppetti. From its small beginnings of just a handful of hectares, Fattoria Le Pupille today boasts 420 hectares (1038 acres), of which 80 are planted to vineyards and 20 hectares (49 acres) are dedicated to olives. The vineyards are situated in the Maremma’s most prestigious terroirs, at elevations averaging 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level, created in distinctive parcels that Elisabetta Geppetti and her eldest daughter Clara have interpreted in the wines they produce. These include ‘Saffredi ‘, their iconic Bordeaux blend; ‘Poggio Valente ‘ their proud standard-bearer; their award-winning exemplary ‘Morellino di Scansano ‘, in both standard and Riserva versions; their ‘Rosa Mati ‘ rosé; and ‘Poggio Argentato ‘ a Tuscan white made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Manseng, Traminer and Semillon grapes. An upcoming new wine is ‘Le Pupille ‘, made from a special selection of Syrah grapes.
It is not surprising therefore that Fattoria Le Pupille consistently figures in the top ranks of Italian wineries.
The metamorphosis of the family-run Fattoria Le Pupille from a small wine estate, to a modern and entrepreneurial viticultural reality started around 1985.
1982 saw the release of a Morellino di Scansano Riserva (1978), followed by a Saffredi in 1987 which firmly established the reputation of the excellent wines of Maremma both in Italy and overseas. The quality of the wines also established the reputation of Elisabetta Geppetti, who is often referred to as the ‘Lady of Morellino’ and the ‘Ambassador of Maremma’. The acquisition of the Poggio Valente vineyard, in 1996, and the releases of the wines made from the grapes grown there added further to the estate’s international reputation, now regarded as one of the most important and influential wineries in Tuscany.
Speaking of her lifelong experience in the wine industry, Elisabetta Geppetti has stated:
“I understood that I wanted to make wine at the age of 20, during one of the many harvests in the family estate. I have inherited my love for wine from my grandfather, but then a passion grows through its own channels.
I wanted to make great wines and I wanted to do it here, in this beloved land. Then with time I felt that everyone, including myself, is the product of our land and since then I understood that wine is, and has to be, bonded with the history of the men who live here, it has to converse and grow with them. This land is my choice of life, as making wine has always been my profession.”
As Elisabetta’s eldest daughter Clara is following in her mother’s footsteps, it is certain that she will continue the development of the business in the future.
Fattoria Le Pupille Poggio Valente
IGT Toscana Rosso
Fattoria Le Pupille
Total: 14 hectares (34.6 acres)
100% Sangiovese (since 2012)
Sandstone-derived, with a well-drained sand-rich surface stratum
Around 35,000 bottles annually.
(Initial:1997) 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
Lying at an elevation of 280 metres above sea level, the 14-hectare Poggio Valente vineyard enjoys an ideal south-westerly exposure. The soil is predominantly sandstone-derived, with a sand-rich surface stratum that provides fine drainage, qualities that ensure outstandingly perfect growing conditions for this vineyard of some 65,000 Sangiovese vines, with an implantation density of around 4,500 vines/ha.
Right from its initial vintage in 1997, the mission set for the Poggio Valente vineyard was to express, in the fullest manner possible, the Sangiovese varietal grown by Fattoria Le Pupille. When Elisabetta Geppetti recognized the potential of this exceptional parcel and purchased it in 1996, she had a very clear intention of “making it the ‘source-cru’ (primary source of quality wine) for the finest Sangiovese in the Maremma.”
The Sangiovese grapes are grown on pruned-spur, cordon-trained vines. They are harvested manually, usually in late September then fermented in stainless steel for around 25 days. The wine is then transferred to 500 and 600 litre tonneaux where it is aged for an additional 15-16 months before spending additional time in bottle prior to its release.
After about six months’ bottle ageing, Poggio Valente 2016 developed its classic intense ruby red hue.
The 2016 growing year in the Poggio Valente vineyard:
The beginning of the year was mild and cool, and the summer warm and dry. Significant day-night temperature differentials and consistent north-east winds mitigated the effects of the summer heat, allowing the Sangiovese to achieve a magnificent balance of all its components. The grapes reached perfect phenolic ripeness and fine sugar levels, in addition to the crisp acidity so classic to Sangiovese. The fruit was harvested in late September and the wine-making was carried out with the usual painstaking attention to details. 35,000 bottles were produced.
Fattoria Le Pupille:
“Intense ruby red, and the nose opens to rich fragrances of wild red berry and subtle hints of nutmeg. The structure is the quintessence of balance, yielding an elegant, seductive wine.”
My personal tasting notes (official sample supplied)
Colour: A deep ruby red
Bouquet: Pleasingly fruity aroma reminiscent of a good quality blackberry, black cherry or plum jam with just a hint of violet. Subtle hints of nutmeg and dark bitter chocolate.
Taste: Fresh tasting and well-balanced with a richly compact structure, packed full of high-toned black cherry with the bonus of spicy notes with vivid hints of mocha. Nicely integrated tannins with long lingering flavours.
In short, a delicious, refined and elegant red wine, worthy of a world class Sangiovese producer.
Address: Fattoria Le Pupille
Piagge Del Maiano, 92 A
58100 Grosseto (GR), Italia
Telephone: + 39 0564.409517
Fax: + 39 0564.409519
- Media materials and complimentary sample kindly provided by Fattoria Le Pupille: https://www.fattorialepupille.it
- All images kindly provided by Fattoria Le Pupille and downloaded from the Press section of the website at: