Wine & Spirits
April 1, 2017, Josh Greene
“Turpino bridges Tuscany’s inland and coastal regions, combining fruit from Querciabella’s Maremma vineyards with an equal portion from the hillside slopes of Greve in Chianti Classico. Cabernet sauvignon, fifty percent of the blend, contributes notes of tobacco and mint, while plush black-fruit flavors and hints of bacon fat signal the presence of merlot and syrah. Dense and savory yet succulent, it’s a match for prime rib.”
September 30, 2016, Bruce Sanderson
“Enticing aromas and flavors of cherry, leather, licorice and mineral are the hallmarks of this polished, intense red. Beautifully balanced, but requires a little more time for the dense tannins to soften. Shows terrific length and a complex aftertaste. Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot.”
Founded in 1974, Querciabella enjoys the acclaim of the world’s most discriminating critics and consumers for wines such as Camartina, Batàr, Palafreno and Querciabella Chianti Classico. In its uncompromising pursuit of quality, sustainability and authenticity, Querciabella has continually honed its approach to biodynamic viticulture for over a decade. With vineyards located throughout Tuscany’s Chianti Classico and Maremma areas, Querciabella exemplifies the mindful preservation of tradition through forward-thinking, albeit completely natural, winemaking.
Turpino is a newer wine to the Querciabella portfolio with the first vintage in 2007. The grapes come from two vineyards: Ruffoli, which is the disintegration of quartz and feldspar sandstone produces deep and loose soil with sandy silt and strong presence of large stones, and Banditella, which contains a mixture of silt and alluvial sand with areas of gravel and surface pebbles that can be traced back to the Pleistocene.
As with all Querciabella wines, elegance and finesse trump muscle in Turpino – whose lifted aromas of violets and wild berries, and youthful ruby color, lead the way to delicate purity of fruit, roundness and depth, accompanied by fine and silky tannins. The name Turpino – like Palafreno and Mongrana which precede this wine in the Querciabella range – pays homage to Orlando Furioso, a 16th century Italian epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto.
After gentle de-stemming, the grapes are transferred into three and five-ton oak fermenters, where they undergo a brief period of cold maceration in preparation for a slow and natural fermentation process – which is prompted by the presence of ambient (indigenous) yeast – under carefully monitored, temperature-controlled conditions. The completion of primary fermentation leads to a phase of post-fermentation maceration, during which daily tastings serve to track tannin development and stability. The wine is then separated from the skins by draining the tank by means of gravity flow. Only the resulting ‘free run’ is used when the wine is racked into barrels (French; 225-liter; 20% new oak; tight grain for Cabernet Franc; tight-to-medium grain for Syrah and Merlot). Full malolactic fermentation occurs in the barriques followed by 16 months of élevage. Finally, the blend is made and moved into cement tanks for an integration period of 6 to 8 months before bottling.
No animal products or byproducts are used in the production of this wine, making it suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Grapes are harvested by hand in 8-kilogram crates. Grapes from Greve are harvested starting August 26 to September 23, and grapes from Banditella are harvested between August 17 to September 23.
The 2011 vintage was charcterized by unseasonably hot spring temperatures that gave rise to early flowering and excellent fruit set. Balanced summer temperatures, due in part to the proximity to the coast, produced very good maturation.
The ideal serving temperature is 59 - 64°F.
Varietals: Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot
Wine Alcohol: 14%
Titratable Acidity: 5.25 g/L
Aging Potential: Will reach maturity around 2015, and will continue to evolve for at least another 15 years.