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Ripe, concentrated black and red raspberry fruit flavors are underscored by sweet, spicy oak and leather notes and a firm core of acidity in this wine, which is supported by a pronounced tannic backbone.
Elegant nose. Good fruity complexity (Jan12 2003)
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Tassinaia shows beautiful depth of color with a nose of black fruits and spice. Ripe, concentrated black and red raspberry fruit flavors are underscored by sweet, spicy oak and leather notes and a firm core of acidity in this wine, which is supported by a pronounced tannic backbone and a finish of finesse and power.
Wine maker notes
Tassinaia, which means "place of the stones," or may alternately indicate a badger habitat from the Italian "tasso," or badger, occupies 37.5 acres of sandy, stony soil situated on a south-southwest exposed slope. Planted from the early 1990s primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese with the balance in Merlot vines, each variety in the vineyard is represented approximately in equal thirds in the wine. The microclimate's proximity to the coast subjects it to maritime influences which create a long, warm growing season of great luminosity. The grapes are hand-harvested between mid-September and early October, with pickers making two consecutive passes through the vineyards to permit the fullest and most perfect ripening of the clusters.
Red wine production is under the technical direction of consulting oenologist Carlo Ferrini. The vinification facility, originally a grain-storage facility built in 1894, has been upgraded with the installation of the most technically advanced temperature-controlled conical stainless steel fermenters. Grapes are fully destemmed and undergo an extended maceration with the skins during and after fermentation. Total maceration time is approximately 20 to 24 days. Following malolactic fermentation, the wines are transferred to Allier oak barriques during which period they are racked into stainless steel tanks for analysis before being returned to cleaned barrels. This takes place every four to five months, and the lots and clones remain separate until final blending in September. Barriques are used for three vintages. The first passage is for Lupicaia, and the interior of the barrels are then resurfaced and used for Tassinaia in the second and third years, customarily in the proportion of 80 percent second pass and 20 percent third pass, for a period of twelve to fourteen months. The wine receives only a rough filtration to remove gross lees prior to bottling.
The origin of the Terriccio Estate goes back to the very far past. It extends over a territory where the Etruscans extracted iron and copper of which there are still traces to be seen today. During the period of the Maritime Republics, of the fratricidal feuds and the pirate attacks, the old castle, stronghold realized in the estate, became for the Republic of Pisa an important strategical outpost to control a stretch of the Tyrrhenian coast.
In the 14th century the Bishop of Pisa conceeded landrights of the Castle, its rural buildings and the land to the Count Gaetani of Pisa. They made veritable estate out of it, the so-called “County of Terriccio” which remained in the hands of the Gaetani family for over five centuries. Subsequently the Terriccio was gradually trasformed into an efficient agricultural establishment with warehouses and production sites which are partly still used today. At the end of the 18th century the estate was bought out by the Polish Prince Poniatowski and they were the owners until the first postwar period, when it was purchased by the Count Serafini Ferri. The Serafini Ferri family have further enhanced the agricultural side of the Terriccio to the point of making a business in the modern sense increasing the area of cultivation, planting olive groves and vineyards and a complete renovation of the rural buildings. Today the Terriccio, under the management of Gian Annibale Rossi di Medelana Serafini Ferri, is an important agricultural estate of 4,200 acres, part of which is put to use for organic cultivation of cereals, forage, olive trees and, in particular, grapes from which wines of great personality and reflective of their land are obtained.