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You would expect that the producer of Redigaffi, one of the world’s most renowned Merlots, crafts that sought-after bottling in surroundings that signify and complement the wine’s prestige. You would expect, to be honest, a certain air of grandeur, a certain imposing reserve and majesty. Tua Rita, however, has resolutely kept itself outside that realm. In fact, so modest and unassuming is the estate that it might strike you as the home of, at the very most, a house of local importance—an impression that is undoubtedly heightened by the medieval origins of Suvereto, the town in which Tua Rita is situated.
Though Redigaffi has been a cult catch since ’97, turning in stellar vintage after stellar vintage, Tua Rita has remained true to its artisanal ideals and more remarkably, its modest demeanor. That spirit, in fact, prevails at Tua Rita, most notably in the persona of owner Rita Tua. Seemingly more a denizen of the kitchen than of the cellar, Rita Tua exudes the classic warmth that is the provenance of the Italian grandmother; the palpable human quality defining the estate is channeled through her ingratiating vitality.
Our single-variety Merlot takes its name from a stream that runs near the estate. Redigaffi is a benchmark wine that has achieved cult status around the world. The 2000 vintage was the first wine from Italy to be awarded 100/100 by Robert Parker. Redigaffi features regularly in the catalogues of the world’s leading auctioneers, such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and is one of the few Italian wines included in the Liv-ex index.
First vintage: 1994
Varieties: Merlot 100%
Planting density: 8,500 vines per hectare
Training system: Cordon spur
Soil: Markedly clayey with a fairly significant pebble fraction. The higher plots are more pebbly, those lower down have more silt. Mid slope, where Merlot is grown, there is a higher fraction of clay.
Vineyard management: Organic
Average production: 10,000 bottles Harvesting method: Manually in 15-kg cases
Maturation: For 18-20 months in new French oak barriques; after going into bottle in the summer, the wine is left to age for several months before release to market
Serving temperature: 15-18 °C
Formats: 75-cl bottle in three or six-unit wooden case; 1.5-l magnum in individual wooden case; 3-l double magnum in individual wooden case; 6-l bottle in individual wooden case; 9-l bottle in individual wooden case; 18-l bottle in individual wooden case