CASTELLO DEL TERRICCIO, estate located in the Montescudaio region of Tuscany.
OWNER | Gian Annibale Rossi di Medelana Serafini Ferri. “Terriccio’s eminence owes everything to its effortlessly charming owner, Cavaliero Gian Annibale Rossi di Medelana, who inherited this magnificent estate of 4,200 acres of forest, cereals, olives and wonderful grapes from his great uncle, Conte Serafini Ferri. As a young blade, Gian Annibale was a talented horseman and a potential Olympic equestrian champion. But fate struck when one day he was thrown from his horse, breaking his back, which changed his life. Gian Annibale became a passionate breeder but his greatest efforts went into the vineyards,” (Edwards, M: 7/2009).
HISTORY | The origins of the Terriccio estate are ancient. It is located where the Etruscans extracted iron and copper, traces of which can been seen today. During the period of the Maritime Republics the castle here became an important strategic outpost for the Republic of Pisa along the Tyrrhenian coast. In the 14th century the Bishop of Pisa conceded the castle, rights to its land and the rural buildings to Count Gaetani of Pisa. They controlled the estate for over five centuries. Subsequently the ‘Terriccio’ was gradually transformed into a farm, whose warehouses and production sites are partly still used today. At the end of the 18th century the estate was bought by the Polish Prince Poniatowski. After the First World War they sold it to Count Serafini Ferri. The Serafini Ferri family further enhanced the agricultural side of the Terriccio, increasing the cultivated area, planting olive groves and vineyards and completely renovating 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.
STAFF | Former manager Dr. Carlo Paoli (335.1284899). Marketing Olga-Sophia von Kirschten (South American-German. Tel 335.5376993. We met at LIWTF May 2003).
ESTATE VINEYARDS | Montescudaio. “148 acres planted mainly to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot and more recently (and very successfully) to Syrah,” (Edwards, M: 7/2009). Sangiovese at 100 metres. South-south-west. 5,500 vines/ha. Cordon.
TOSCANA BIANCO, RONDINAIA | Rondinaia is named after a tower on the estate that gave shelter to the swallows (rondine in Italian). The two wavy blue lines of the label resemble the sea reflecting the sunlight on its surface and conferring an incredible brightness and light on the vineyards. / 2000 Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer. 2001 100% Chardonnay. 2003 100% Chardonnay. 10,000 bottles.
TOSCANA BIANCO, CON VENTO | Con Vento was named “With the wind” to describe the maritime breeze-swept vineyards. The two yellow zigzagged lines on the label represent the movement of the wheat exposed to the winds. / 2003 Sauvignon Blanc. 16,000 bottles.
TOSCANAO ROSATO, SASSI ROSA | The name derives from the pink hued stones (the “Sassi Rosa”) that can be found in the vineyards. This latest wine, a limited edition of only 5,000 bottles, is born out of a collaboration with winemaker Graziana Grassini.
TOSCANA ROSSO, CASTELLO DEL TERRICCIO | 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon + Merlot. A bit lean and green and hot alcohol and aggressive acidity but a tight style of tannin and an over-ripe style of fruit; not hugely convincing at the Bolgheri wine route office on Tues 22 Feb 2005. / 2004 “Made with Syrah and Petit Verdot, aged in oak for 18 months,” (Edwards, M: 7/2009). / 2006 50% Syrah + 25% Petit Verdot [sic]. £30-59.99. Exotic smoky orange peel nose, evolving, warm and raisiny, but the palate to me is dry, extracted and lacking levity (I did re-taste this and liked it better second time around). 18.5 Points. Gold at DWWA 3rd May 2013.
TOSCANA ROSSO, TASSINAIA | The grapes of Tassinaia come from 37.5 acres of vineyards with sandy, stony soil and a moderating maritime climate characterized by a long ripening season. On the label two green segments symbolize the grassland of Terriccio. / 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc. 110,000 bottles. Smoky wood, bit dry and heavy, sweet alcohol, not really going to go anywhere, lots of over-ripeness at the Bolgheri wine route office on Tues 22 Feb 2005. / 2004 ‘Made from a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, plus 40 per cent Sangiovese, aged in Allier oak for 14 months,’ (Edwards, M: 7/2009). / 2006 33% each Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot. £15-29.99. Ripe animal, meat and leather. 15.5 Points. Bronze at DWWA 1st May 2013.
TTOSCANA ROSSO, CAPANNINO | Capannino takes its name from an estate on the farm where the show horse stables are. It is now a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. / 1997 Produced in 1997 but the next vintage was 2002. / 2003 100% Sangiovese [from young vines it seems, planted at the end of the 1990s]. 22,000 bottles. Distinctive, almost sweaty nose, perhaps a bit of VA but also ripe soft black berry fruit, almost a bit medicinal at the Bolgheri wine route office on Tues 22 Feb 2005.
TOSCANA ROSSO, LUPICAIA | The top wine and the one which has made the estate world-renowned. This rich Super Tuscan has considerable ageing potential and it is one of the finest made; its debut vintage, as well as all following vintages, achieved the coveted Tre Bicchieri award. The two characteristic red-brown parallel segments on the label symbolize the typical red colour of the soil in the vineyards. Lupicaia is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, vinified from only the best of the carefully selected grapes, and aged for 18 months in new French Allier barrels. / 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon + Merlot. High tone bacon on the nose which is a bit worrying; and also some odd dry wood and VA on the palate; not great; fading fast at the Bolgheri wine route office on Tues 22 Feb 2005. / 2001 30,000 bottles. 2004 “Made from a classic Bordeaux mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Aged in new oak for 18 months,” (Edwards, M: 7/2009). / 2005 85% Cabernet Sauvignon + 10% Merlot + 5% Petit Verdot. £60+. Deep, ripe blackcurrants, sweet, dense and monotone, bit metallic. 15.5 Points. Bronze at DWWA 2nd May 2013.
Az Ag Castello del Terriccio, Loc. Terriccio, Via Bagnoli, 20 – I-56040 Castellina Marittima (PI = Pisa), Italy / Tel+39 0506.99709 / www.terriccio.it