The wines of Fattoria Le Pupille, Maremma, Italy

xFattoria Le Pupille is the winery of Elisabetta Geppetti, mother of five and winemaker at this Tuscan estate in the Maremma. Here, Geppetti fashions D.O.C wines like her Morellino di Scansanos, and I.G.T ‘superTuscans’, like Saffredi, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Alicante blend, and SolAlto, a dessert wine made from Botrytised Traminer, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. I recently tasted the two Morellino di Scansano wines in the Fattoria le Pupille stable, the regular cuvée from 2006 and the single vineyard ‘Poggio Valente’ from 2004. Poggio Valente comes from a 12-hectare vineyard near Pereta, planted with four Sangiovese clones. These are very serious and structured wines, the Poggio Velante in particular striking me as a wine that will need considerable time in the cellar to open and soften through the mid-palate. They are undoubtedly very profound expressions of the Morellino di Scansano D.O.C.

The wines

Fattoria le Pupille (Italy) Morellino di Scansano 2006
Fattoria le Pupille’s ‘regular’ Morellino comes in a bottle closed with a synthetic cork, and is a mostly Sangiovese with some Alicante and black Malvasia. It has a bold, very dark crimson colour and a nose redolent of black cherries and an earthy, even mineral character with just fleeting glimpses of something floral. On the palate this is firm and savoury, with a dark, liquorice-tinged black fruit and a forceful tannin structure that adds grip and intensity. The balance is good, in a wine that is more juicy and approachable than the Poggio Valente when young, but which is still a fairly tight and authoritative style of Sangiovese. Around £10.99, see all stockists on

Fattoria le Pupille (Italy) Morellino di Scansano ‘Poggio Valente’ 2004
This top cuvee of Morellino di Scansano from Fattoria le Pupille is a single-vineyard selection of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Alicante grown in predominantly sandy soils of stone and sandstone, and aged in barriques, 40% of which are new. It is quite closed and very firm, tight and reserved, with taut and shiny black fruit and an almost opaque aromatic density. On the palate the wine is immediately powerful and serious, with a great, brooding core of firm cherry and black fruit, but all bound up in muscular tannins and a sinewy core of bittersweet fruit and acidity. This is structured and somewhat chewy stuff, representing Sangiovese at its most serious and challenging. It is a very beautiful wine in many ways – not over-extracted or at all clumsy – but it is powerful, deep and slightly impenetrable at this stage, perhaps needing more time to soften and wriggle out just a little from its very tightly-wound structure. Around £25, see all stockists of on

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