Fattoria di Fubbiano I Pampini IGT 2013
Winegrower: Marco Corsini
Region: Tuscany, Italy
Grape: 95% Sangiovese, 5% Teroldego
I try to take it easy on the hyperbole when I write these offers but today’s wine isn’t just well made, it’s a major achievement, especially for the price! It shows the great potential of the Sangiovese grape, which makes up 95% of the wine, with 5% Teroldego, an obscure varietal from Trentino in northern Italy and not native to Tuscany, thus the IGT designation. Today’s I Pampini IGT 2013 has an intense, beautiful bouquet. On the palate it is full bodied and reveals great structure, excellent acidity, and well-balanced tannins. It is only produced in the best vintages and at $45.00 represents excellent QPR. In Canada you will only find this wine at Cellar Direct, and what little finds its way into the United States sells for substantially more.
In discussing this wine it’s important to clear up any notions you might have about all IGT wines being Super Tuscans, this simply isn’t true. So how did the term Super Tuscan originate? In the 1970’s some Tuscan producers thought that the regulations governing the production of wines like Chianti were too restrictive; a good example is that they were prohibited from blending in non-traditional grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah. These winegrowers coined the term “Super Tuscan” to distinguish their wines from cheap, low-quality wines that were associated with the basic term ‘vino da tavola’ (table wine) that they were forced to put on their labels because they added these other grapes. Today producers have more flexibility under the IGT designation for their Super Tuscans than Chianti and other Tuscan DOCs that have more prestige than vino da tavola, but they tend to be big, rich and what I would consider over-the-top wines that sell for $100 or more. Today’s wine is nothing of the sort and could easily qualify as one of the best wines from Tuscany.
Fattoria di Fubbiano sits in the gentle sloping hills of Lucca in northwest Tuscany. It is a mixed farm that includes vineyards, olive groves and forest. Because of its relative proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, winters are relatively mild and a cornucopia of wild flowers begins blooming as early as January. The climate experiences significant diurnal temperature fluctuations in the summer, which helps to maintain the acidity and vibrancy of this edgy red wine despite the hot summers. The area has a wine growing tradition that dates back well over 2,000 years. The town of Lucca was founded by the Etruscans before it became a Roman colony in 180 BC and is a near perfectly preserved example of medieval architecture. According to parish records, the history of Fattorio Di Fubbiano dates back as a working farm to at least 1694, but some of the estate’s vineyards and buildings date to the 14th century.
The estate has 45 hectares of which 20 are devoted to vineyards. Marco Corsini, who was born on the estate, is the winemaker, followed in the footsteps of his father Sauri. The estate produces around 100,000 bottles of red and white wine each vintage. Farming practices are organic and biodynamic and all vineyard work is by hand. Indigenous yeasts are used to ferment the wines and gravity moves both juice and wine in the cellar.
I Pampini 2013 is the product of handpicked grapes from south facing hillside vineyards. The two grape varieties were fermented separately in large, old oak, troncoconic tanks (see bottle label) and underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged in both old and new oak barrels for two years then blended, lightly filtered and bottled with just a touch of sulphur added. This wine is an intense ruby red. It has a spicy, cigar-box box nose with dark red-berries and slight balsamic notes that provides a wonderful olfactory experience. On the palate it is full-bodied, has good structure, and well-balanced tannins. Hints of vanilla, licorice and cardamom carry into a beautiful, medium-long finish. This wine has excellent cellaring potential and at six years of age is developing beautifully. Decant this exceptional wine an hour or so before serving at 16˚ in Bordeaux stems. On these cold winter nights (cold in most of the country) it goes great with mature cheeses, baked duck or braised short ribs. Cin Cin!