2018 Tua Rita, Rosso dei Notri, IGT Tuscany, Italy.
The Rosso dei Norti, the baby red wine of the famed Tua Rita estate and legendary winemaker Luca d’Attoma is beautiful everyday Tuscan red that is a cuvée consisting of mainly Sangiovese and with a mix of international grapes that include the notable Merlot, which is one of best grapes grown in this area, Cabernet Sauvignon, that also has thrived here as witnessed by Tenuta San Guido’s iconic Sassicaia that is just down the road in Bolgheri, and even a small selection of Syrah, which has gained ground in this region over the last 10 to 15 years. The winery’s founders, Rita Tua and her husband, Virgilio Bisti, first started back in the mid eighties and released their first wine in 1992 with a focus on Merlot, setting the stage for Tua Rita to compete with their prestigious neighbors, which was especially successful with the mighty Redigaffi, a 100% Merlot wine with few peers that competes head to head with the likes Ornellaia’s Masseto and the mentioned Sassicaia. Tua Rita also does a fabulous Bordeaux blend called the Giusti di Notri that also helped this label achieve world wide acclaim, and while this Rosso dei Norti is not nearly on the level with the top wines, it is delicious stuff, as well as being a superb value. The 2018 version starts with a bright array of red fruits, hints of spice and a subtle floral bouquet before its supple medium palate kicks in with a mix of cherry, plum, raspberry and tangy cranberry/currant fruits along with a background of sandalwood, anise, tobacco leaf, dried dark flowers and minty herbs.
Tua Rita Rosso dei Notri is typically 50% Sangiovese and 50% a veritable blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, that come from from vineyards in the rolling foothills of Suvereto, the humble hilltop village in this picturesque and tranquil part of western Tuscany. Tua Rita’s cellars are also located in Suvereto, an ancient medieval town in the Tuscan province of Livorno, west of Pisa on the Tuscan coast, just south of Bolgheri. The winery, set up at just 300 feet above sea level, on pebbly clay and silty soils gets a climate that is warm, but moderated by the near by Mediterranean Sea that helps produce ripe grapes that are full of concentration, but are finely balanced in most years.This wine is made carefully to be a wine to be drunk young and fresh, so Luca is looking to craft a softer and fruit forward style bottling, but one that also highlights the winery’s style and quality. So the Sangiovese and the international varietals see a severe selection of clusters in the vineyards and a full de-stemming in the cellar, where after a gentle pressing, the wine is aged for about three months in French oak barriques and then also raised stainless steel tanks a bit more before an early bottling. I am a long time fan of ex rugby player Luca d’Attoma’s wines, he’s has a lot of hits in his portfolio, including the wines of his own Duemani, Poggio al Tesoro and these Tua Rita efforts as well as what he used do when at Le Macchiole, where he especially excelled with Merlot and Cab Franc. This latest release Rosso dei Notri, with its deep garnet color went delightfully well with a simple pasta dish and provided a joyous experience without pretense, it was just want the evening needed.
($22 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive