The great wines of Maremma
Maremma. From bitter to sweet. An extraordinary area mixed with the passion of the great dynasties and determined winemakers
This is the Maremma, the new face of Tuscan wine-making. Its wines, almost unknown until a few years ago, now have a huge cult following worldwide because of their extraordinary quality.
MONTEREGIO DI MASSA MARITTIMA
Starting from the most northern part, inland from Follonica and Punta Ala, there is the Doc Montereggio area between Massa Marittima, Monterotondo, Montieri, Follonica, Scarlino, Gavorrano, Roccastrada and Castiglione della Pescaia. We are on the metalliferous hills of the upper Maremma where Vermentino is once again the protagonist, rich in aromas and flavours but with notes that remind us of the uniqueness of this area. Among the reds, the Sangiovese is the main grape. However, the most representative wine of the area, the forerunner of the Supertuscans, is the Avvoltore Toscana IGT (Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah) produced by Moris Farms. Intense, powerful and enveloping, it is perfect with Braised Maremmana Beef, the most esteemed Maremma breed of cattle. In this area you will find much evidence of prestigious dynasties’ involvement in the world of wine, specifically in the Maremma terroir: Antinori’s Le Mortelle, the Terra Moretti Group’s Tenuta La Badiola, Rocca di Frassinello (a join venture between Panerai’s Castellare di Castellina and Domain Barone di Rothschild-Lafite) and Rocca di Montemassi (Zonin).
MORELLINO DI SCANSANO
Further inland, we find the area of the Morellino di Scansano, DOCG (controlled designation of origin guaranteed) since 2007, and the historic designation of the Maremma, the symbol, the most important, is characterised by the excellent Sangiovese vine (85%, while the remaining 15% is Ciliegiolo, Calorino, Canaiolo, and the international vines such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvigon, Syrah). It groups together the districts of Scansano, Magliano in Toscana, Manciano, Grosseto, Campagnatico, Semproniano and Roccalbegna. Among the pioneers of the Docg Scansanese are Ezio Mantellassi and Elisabetta Geppetti who, with passion, intelligence and obstinacy, have won Morellino international acclaim and prestige.
The Sangiovese, in the Maremma, is authoritative and authentic, not only elegant but above all, powerful, structured and enduring.
It is a perfect accompaniment to wild boar stew, a typical dish of Maremma. The structure and persistent flavour make it blend in impeccable harmony with the Morellino di Scansano.
We are on the low foothills to the northeast of Orbetello. It has had DOC (controlled designation of origin) status since 1971. It is epitomised in the Tenuta La Parrina (La Parrina Estate), managed by Franca Spinola with intelligence and skill. Her flagship wine is the cru Radaia Doc Parrina, a deep, soft, opulent and persistent Merlot expressing the full potential of the international vine planted in this area.
ANSONICA COSTA DELL’ARGENTARIO
Going back to the coast, we find the charming Ansonica Costa dell’Argentario, a beautiful white grape variety native to the island of Giglio, recently recovered and rediscovered on the slopes of Monte Argentario and the island of Giglio. Its unique character combines the radiance of the terroir with the scents of the Mediterranean coast’s vegetation. The champion of its rebirth is the winemaker Francesco Carfagna, the ‘heroic winemaker’ that has been rebuilding the historic terraces on the southern part of the island of Giglio since 1999.
Altura is his dream come true.
We end our journey in the most southern part of the Maremma, in the municipalities of Capalbio, Manciano, Magliano and Orbetello, where the wine-lover Georg Weber, an elegant German entrepreneur, has made Monteverro one of the most prestigious and cutting edge businesses in the area. Their Chardonnay brings a fruity, complex, soft and opulent flavour to the wine, which is never cloying, but always pleasant and inviting.