Hidden Treasures: Two Wine Titans Create Affordable Tuscan Gem

Before telling you of the unique Tuscan wine Le Sughere di Frasselino, I should take a moment to introduce myself as the new Sr. Wine Consultant at Murphy’s Wine Shop, John Lampe. My background in fine wine spans over 3 decades, so I am constantly on the lookout for the overlooked and/or undervalued wines of the world. In the future I will endeavor to bring them to you weekly in this wine blog, as we broaden our focus to include regions not covered before.

I look forward to the journey with you all!

Today, I will share with you my latest experience with a wine from the venerated Italian vineyard estate of Rocca di Frassinello. Pull out your best Italian red, enjoy the last of the summer sunshine, and imagine you are in the land that exemplifies savoir vivre…

Located in southern Tuscany close to the city of Grosetto, the vineyard lies a little more than 90 miles from the ever-popular tourist destination of Pisa. The grounds and the origins of the property are both notably pedigreed. Not only was the winery’s building designed by the most famous Italian architect of his time, Renzo Piano, but the venture itself was the first Italian joint-venture of world-famous Chateau Lafite in Bordeaux and Castellare di Castellina, founded by one of the most successful Italian journalists, Paolo Panerai, once editor-in-chief of Il Mondo.

They bought 1235 acres (500 hectares) of land in the promising, yet still affordable, Maremma region in 2000 and embedded a state-of-the-art winery in the middle of the vast property.

2015 Le Sughere di Frassinello - $29.99

This blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot is certainly not the typical Tuscan one (rather, it resembles the classic Bordeaux blend), but thanks to the Sangiovese, it provides the subtle rough edges every Tuscan red should have (in my eyes). It is a rich, concentrated red wine with strong, but well-balanced tannins. The bouquet is dominated by dark berries, but in the elegant manner of a Bordeaux, nicely reflecting the influence of the Rothschild wine makers. For that, it is a worthy representative of Tuscany and can easily challenge the established wines from Chianti.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 92 pts

The 2015 Maremma Toscana Le Sughere di Frassinello is a great value blend of 50% Sangioveto, 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon (aged in French oak for one year). This wine boasts a proven track record for its consistent value and accessibility and can be counted on for both. It releases a steady flow of dark fruit and spice aromas that build in momentum. The mouthfeel is generous and softly velvety in texture, especially in this warm vintage.

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