Tua Rita, named after Rita Tua who bought the vineyards in 1984 with partner Virgilio Bisti, have managed to do spectacular things to the Italian wine landscape in a remarkably short space of time. The world famous, always Tre Bicchiere, and 100 Parker point awarded Redigaffi (100% Merlot) is something of an institution here in Italy held in huge esteem and traded for the GDPs of old soviet satellites. The vineyards themselves are spooky neat and efficient and the whole operation is simply operatic perfection in wine making.
Tua Rita occupies some of the best grape growing land in Suvereto, close to the coast where all the great Super Tuscan vineyards are located in Bolgheri (that’s Tuscany, but you know that by now surely right? No? Tuscany Guide). This is a real small yield vineyard and top notch winemaker Stefano Chioccioli is overseeing and running the show in the fields for Tua Rita. So you got the land, and the know how in place, but Tua Rita have made critical decisions about which grapes to go with and in the space of 20 years have created wines that many Bordeaux producers, with 100’s of years experience can’t even touch.
Tua Ritas production isn’t exactly huge, this isn’t an Antinori kind of production, the wines have a cult status and are trading for €500+ in the Italian enotecas (and its not like many Italian enotecas are stocking the 100 point 2000 Redigaffi) if you are smart, you can pick them up much cheaper on Italian Ebay.
What wines do Tua Rita produce?
Redigaffi – Signature wine of Tua Rita. 100% Merlot, the best Merlot in Italy and a 100 Parker point bomb. 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2004 are generally considered to be the best vintages of this bottling, find one of these under €200 and you’re doing well. Traditionally, this is a really rich, opulent Merlot, big tannins with big terroir driven aromas. The 2004 vintage is really a little under priced in places, something of a bargain/investment, I sourced it at €150 click here.
Giusto di Notri – The top Bordeaux-esque blend of Tua Rita. Merlot 25%, Cabernet Sauvignon 65%, Cabernet Franc 15%, 5% Petit Verdot. The wine achieved huge accolades across the board for three vintages in a row from 1999-2001. Traditionally this wine is very dark with licorice and graphite notes, very rich and fruity wine. Any readers from the Chicago area can pick this up for under $70 from Flickinger Wines (probably they deliver further than Chicago, check it out)
Perlato Del Bosco Rosso – A price accessible Tuscan blend. Sangiovese 65%, Cabernet Sauvignon 35%. This wine is improving year on year, with the last two vintage releases (’04 and ’05) becoming serious QPR wines (can pick these up for €20). If you want to try something from Tua Rita but don’t want to lay out the big money, this wine is a good option. Fruity and balanced this is a very approachable wine, perhaps drinking best young. The 2006 vintage is reportedly excellent too.
There are a further two white wines that I personally have no experience of so couldn’t possibly comment (but you could, leave a comment!) the Perlato Del Bosco Bianco (Trebbiano 60%, Ansonica 20%, Clairette 20%) and the Lodano (50% Traminer Riesling and 50% Chardonnay).
Now, why am I talking about Tua Rita? It’s a little left field right? Well, RIGHT. After “Nero Week” (which should be rechristened “Nero Fortnight”), I’m going to start exploring the rich and confusing world of Italian Merlot. So, Italian Merlot, Tua Rita, Redigaffi, see what I did? I will be splurging on an a bottle of the latest Redigaffi and choosing 5 other Merlots from around Italy to showcase for my kick into Italian Merlot and once more, I need assistance.
I may even make my way down to Tua Rita next weekend, if they allow me thru the doors, and if so, I’ll bring back a full report and hopefully a lot of tasting notes. Ciao for Now.
Question of the Day
Recommend some Italian Merlots, besides the Redigaffi, for what will probably become “Merlot Month” on the blog as there are a ridiculous amount on the market. Please.. pretty please.