The 2016 vintage in Tuscany is looking to be one of the best ever with thrilling buys to be found at every price point. However, for your money, you’d struggle to find better ‘value’ than the 2016 Super Tuscan Caiarossa, at only £215 IB per six. With a best ever score of 96 points from The Wine Advocate, who praises its “delicate level of elegances that absolutely seals the deal” as well as a best ever score of 97 points from James Suckling who found it to be “a very beautiful and layered red with impressive density and richness.” We had the opportunity to try a recent sample and were blown away by the impeccable elegance and finesse it is already showing in its relative infancy, yet with an abundance of structure and fine tannins that will support it for decades to come. At just £215 per case of six IB, Caiarossa is available at an extremely compelling discount to its Super Tuscan peers:
Founded in 1998, Caiarossa is located on the rolling coastal hills of Tuscany’s Val di Cecina, approximately 30 minutes north of Bolgheri (where stablemates Sassicaia and Ornellaia are from), but it only began to come into its true potential once it was purchased in 2004 by the Dutch entrepreneur Eric Albada Jelgersma, who is also the proprietor of Margaux Grand Cru Classe estates Chateau Giscours and Chateau du Tertre. It’s 30 hectares of organically and biodynamically farmed vines are divided between three distinct areas; Serre all’Olio and Le Lame at 250 and 160 metres above sea level respectively, both of which are alluvial soils with limestone, sand and gravel with the third located on the volcanic soils of Nocolino whose steep slopes are located at 350 metres above the sea. These three areas are further divided into 47 separate parcels each of which offer an entirely unique microclimate and soil profile, allowing for an impressive eleven different grape varieties to flourish, from the region’s flagship Sangiovese as well as Bordeaux’s Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and the Rhone Valley’s Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre rounding out the reds. Chardonnay, Viognier and Petit Manseng have been planted for their white wine production.
The incredibly capable Group Technical Director Lorenzo Pasquini and rising star winemaker Marco Lipparini use traditional methods for the region with a mixture of barriques, tonneaux and large oak casks with only a small percentage of new oak to allow for the unique personality of the individual parcels and grape varieties to shine through. With the 2018 vintage, they have also introduced the use of amphorae. The winery draws upon the principles of Feng Shui as well as being built into the hillside to allow for a natural gravity fed flow from when the grapes first enter until reaching maturation in the bottom level barrel room.