New-world ideals in a wine region that dates back to the Etruscans, Castello del Terriccio is a place suspended in time, a sprawling traditional Tuscan farm peppered with ancient buildings, olive groves, forest and 65 hectares of vineyards that extend along the northern limit of the Maremma subregion.
The term ‘Super Tuscan’ may have lost some of its potency since it appeared first in the 1990s alongside names like Ornellaia, Sassicaia and Tignanello. As more and more producers in classical regions fly new ideas and wine styles in the face of sometimes outdated origin control, we’ve been opened to a whole new variety of quality and ingenuity across many parts of the old world. Castello del Terriccio was one of the original new guard, but quietly sat under the radar for many. Although previously called out by Richard Baudains of Decanter Magazine as “probably second only to Sassicaia”, only the truly vino-curious have followed these monumental, age-worthy wines from the beginning.
New-world ideals in a wine region that dates back to the Etruscans, Castello del Terriccio is a place suspended in time, a sprawling traditional Tuscan farm peppered with ancient buildings, olive groves, forest and 65 hectares of vineyards that extend along the northern limit of the Maremma subregion. When the Ferri family took control in 1975, the grapes had been used only for simple bulk wine, sold for local consumption. Gian Annibale Rossi di Medelana Ferri Serafini looked to some of the exceptional bottlings that were coming from a blossoming area just to the south of his newly inherited property, and rightly questioned if his own land could produce the same quality as Bolgheri.
By the early 1990s, the vineyards were significantly restored, and Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were in the ground. Under winemaker Carlo Ferrini, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc also joined, plantings precisely positioned on the 1300-hectare estate to catch the reflection of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Yields were brought to just 900 grams per vine to obtain natural richness and concentration in the wines, providing the polyphenolic charge combined with softness that gives Terriccio wines their remarkable aging capacity.
The three reds are all made from classic French varieties, bound with individual styling and Tuscan terroir. Bold, yet elegant and complex, the flagship and most age-worthy is Lupicaia. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot (and sometimes Merlot) are sorted and blended meticulously and change in ratio each year to ensure the best of the vintage is captured in the bottle. The namesake Castello del Terriccio wine is a predominantly Syrah and Petit Verdot blend with varying amounts of other varieties. An inky, profound and spice-laden wine, it cellars well but is also explosive on release. Tassinaia was the original and is now the second label. This Cabernet Merlot blend brought Terriccio to the world stage, and is named after the farmhouse on one of the hills called Le Tassinaie (‘the place of the stones’). It’s the most forward of the range, generous and succulent; it now sometimes also contains a dash of Syrah.
All the wines below are remarkably well accoladed and well worth your attention. Please visit Castello del Terriccio’s website or get in touch if you would like more information or pricing.