Mission Codename Rocca solid
Bacchus would be proud of us, Operatives, as he too we are certain has roamed the Tuscan coast in search of the sublime. Little did he know that come the 21st Century, The Wine Spies would uncover a Super-Tuscan this tremendous for under $20. Some of the similarly proportioned and comparably well-made neighbors in this up and coming coastline charge 6 times that a bottle. After all, Maremma is the coastal corridor that makes Brunello di Montalcino so special.
A dense, dark ruby / purple color with vibrant hues of scarlet engulfing the velvety robe. An expansive nose of cherry compote, black currants, plums, vanillin, smoke, and spices. Sweet round tannins and an opulent texture enhance the palate of this gorgeously proportioned wine. Exceptional concentration and purity are found on the distinctive, long and magnificent conclusion. While delicious to sip on its own, this food wine is ready to go with pretty much anything.
A recent Forbes wine of the week feature highlighted that; “Rocca di Montemassi is in the Maremma, the vast agricultural area of the Tuscan Coast that in recent years has seen somewhat of an increase in visibility in the United States. It’s a well-earned success story: This land of generous plains and gently rolling hills wasn’t always so idyllic… Even today, small towns in the hills are surrounded by vast swaths of flat farmland, and among the vineyards are also farms that grow cereal grains, livestock, and more. Rocca di Montemassi, in fact—which was bought by the Zonin family in 1999—still raises Maremmana cattle, a unique breed of white cows, on the gorgeous 49-acre property, including 37 acres of grapevines. There’s also a lovely agriturismo on-site, as well as a fascinating Museum of Rural Civilization. The wines they produce, crafted by winemaker Alessandro Gallo, are delicious.”
Since taking the helms from the late great Bordeaux consultant Denis Dubourdieu, winemaker Alessandro Gallo (no relation to the Californian namesake family) has taken this pristine property to new heights. While Sassicaia just to the north of Maremma pioneered the Super-Tuscan movement with Bordeaux varietals in 1968, it was Tignanello that brought Sangiovese, the local queen of reds to the forefront of the movement in 1971 and similar Sangiovese based legends like Flaccianello and Fontalloro were born shortly thereafter. It is this legacy that Sassabruna carries forth and every drop of this killer red pays homage to this historic revolution.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
93 Points – James Suckling - “A plush red that shows dried violets, blackberry compote, dark cherries, as well as burnt oranges and citrus. Lots of essence-like dark fruit is met on the palate by soft tannins, but good acidity drives this through to a medium chewy finish. Drink from 2021.”
What the Winery Says
2016 'Sassabruna' Maremma Toscana DOC
- Alessandro Gallo
- 80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, and 10% Syrah
- Monteregio di Massa Marittima DOC, Maremma, Tuscany
- 12 months
- 50% new French oak