The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Tua Rita and…Tua Rita!

Posted on | April 13, 2016 | Written by Camacho Vidal | No Comments

CamachoYou might think that if you taste wine made from French grapes you would encounter pretty much the same taste no matter where the wine comes from—after all, Merlot is Merlot and Cab Franc is Cab Franc. However, that is definitely not the case. Grapes adapt to their various terroir and regions and develop individual personalities that express unique aromas and flavor profiles.

One producer that will make you think differently about French grapes is Italy’s Tua Rita estate. Started in 1984 by husband and wife Rita Tua and Virgilio Bisti, this estate makes big, bold, rich Super Tuscans that have reached cult status. The organically farmed vineyards sit near the medieval town of Suvereto between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the upper Maremma in a region known as the Colline Metallifere, or Metalliferous hills. This location is of special note because, as you might guess from the name, it imparts an iron-like nuance to the aromatics of the wine and lends a delicious hint of salinity and minerality on the palate. Tua Rita makes its wines in small production, so they’re difficult to obtain, but their big personalities let you know that they are from Italy.

Tua Rita 2012 Giusto di Notri $79.99

This classic Bordeaux-style blend speaks Italian, and it has become the estate’s signature wine. The grapes come from the first vineyard that Rita and Virgiolio planted, and is a tribute to Justus, the patron saint of Suvereto. Composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the wine ages for 18 months in new and once-used French oak barriques before bottling. The elegant nose is full of black fruit and spice, followed by hints of tobacco menthol and minirality. The palate is nice and full with noticeable fruit that gives way to silky tannins and a slight sweet wood on the finish. The 2012 bottle commemorates the wine’s 20th anniversary and bears a specially designed label. Drink 2016-2024.

Tua Rita 2013 Redigaffi $299.99

This is an intense Merlot that shows the full expression of the region with a nose that wants to explode from the glass. Red cherry, plum, black licorice and spice all meld together with slight hints of balsamic and smoky leather traits. The palate is spicy with grippy tannins and bright acidity and a hint of cedar and vanilla on a lingering finish. This single-vineyard Merlot, named after the stream that runs through the vineyard, is aged for 18-20 months in new French oak barriques before being bottled. Drink 2018-2032.

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