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'Super Tuscan' Red Blend for Autumn

2019 Ferrero ‘Pepita’ Rosso di Toscana IGT

As the days get shorter and the nights get a touch cooler, it’s time to restock the wine rack with warming red wines that will delight through winter. Today, we are featuring the Rosso di Toscana ‘Pepita’, a blend of four different varietals, local and international: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Montepulciano and Alicante. This ‘Super Tuscan’ style demonstrates how well-suited international varieties are to the terroir of Tuscany and offers exceptional value for the price.

The Pendolino wine team was lucky enough to discover the boutique Ferrero winery through a mutual contact on a trip to Italy years ago. The family-run estate is only about 14 hectares (extraordinarily tiny on the scale of Tuscan wineries) and sits in a very prestigious location on the southwestern slope of Montalcino, with another vineyard a short distance away in Montenero d'Orcia.

The adventure began when Piedmont native Claudia Ferrero and Swiss national, Pablo Harri, met while working together at one of Montalcino’s most famous estates. In the 1990’s, the two eventually married, and on the heels of Pablo’s successful career as chief winemaker at Banfi, decided to start making their own wines. Sadly, Pablo passed away in 2017, but his wife Claudia and their three daughters honour his legacy by achieving the same impressive quality standards. Pablo’s daughter, Pepita, demonstrates great ability as a winemaker here, allowing the character of each variety to shine within the blend.

In the glass, ‘Pepita’ is dark ruby, with purple hues. Blackberry, black cherry, plum and floral notes follow from the nose through the palate, and the Cabernet provides silky tannins and enough structure to allow cellaring for several years. This fruit-forward wine is always well received in the restaurant. It will complement roasted meats, stews, casseroles, hard cheeses, and pasta dishes.

James Suckling on the 2016 ‘Pepita’: “A very deep, dark-fruited nose with elderberries, cassis, blackberry pie and vanilla. The overt fruitiness is held together by quite a suave conjunction of chewy tannins, and the undertones of undergrowth are really juicy and mouthwatering.”

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