Mention the great wines of Tuscany and one immediately thinks of Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or even his favorite Super Tuscan. Less known but still a source for high quality wines is the Maremma region of Tuscany.
The word Maremma is derived from the Latin mare, or sea. It is the name of the region along the Tuscan coastline extending south from Livorno and through the province of Grosseto. Wine has been produced in the Maremma as far back as the Etruscans and then the Romans, however the production of high quality wine is a fairly recent phenomenon. Prices for vineyard land are much lower than in the more famous central Tuscan DOCs; consequently the wines tend to be terrific values.
Last week Angelo Cerciello, the export manager for Fattoria il Casalone, stopped by to give a group of our wine consultants a better understanding of his wines. Fattoria il Casalone is located along the coastal area of the Maremma near the town of Orbetello. The fattoria (farm) covers approximately 300 hectares of which 14 are devoted to grapevines. The farm also grows wheat and other cereals, breeds wild cattle and manages a beautiful hotel on the property.
In 1965 Pepi Lignana purchased Fattoria il Casalone. Recently he constructed a modern winery with state-of-the-art technology and hired one of Italy’s top oenologists to make the wine. In short the Lignana family, Pepi and his sons Diego and Corrado, have spared no expense to make wines that rival those of Tuscany’s more famous locations.
We have three of Pepi Lignana’s wines available in our stores:
Pepi Lignana Leopoldino ($14) – A blend of Vermentino and 12% Viognier, this white wine is fragrant, fruity and well structured.
Pepi Lignana Cerida ($14) – A blend of Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet, this wine sees no oak so it is bright and fresh, perfect red for our Florida summer.
Pepi Lignana Poggio Colombi ($15) – A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot, this is a more serious wine and the favorite amongst our consultants…a steal for $15.
Paul Quaglini, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine and spirits supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwinepaulq