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Italy - 2013 - Tua Rita Redigaffi 7

  • Region: Italy
  • Vintage: 2013
  • Rating: 99
  • Notes:
    [20th Anniversary single vineyard limited release magnum only]
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Tasting Notes

Rating 99 - There's a lot to say here, so let me start at the beginning. The 2013 Redigaffi 7 Magnum is a special-release wine, produced only in magnum to celebrate the 20th anniversary (which was in 2013) of this iconic expression of Tuscan Merlot. A precious few 420 magnums were produced, and the price tag is nothing to sneeze at. I will also say that I struggled to score this wine, and I nursed my magnum, my single sample, for as long as I could, tasting the wine blind, in a flight of peers, in different glasses and at various intervals after the bottle was open. I spent a lot of time contemplating my thoughts and impressions, and ultimately, that in itself is what convinced me to give it a two-digit score rather than a three-digit one. Awarding the perfect score is often an illumination that requires very little thought at all and if you think about it too long, you nurture a doubt, the original sin of wine tasting. However, if the next critic went with a 100-point score for this wine, I would be in absolute agreement on every intellectual level. I also want to address the hefty price tag here, because in my almost 20 years covering Italian wine, I have never seen a new release hit the market at such an ambitious price point. To this, I say congratulations to Stefano Frascolla and his family. Very few Italian icon wines know their own worth, and I am often shocked by the value you can get from an Italian benchmark compared to one from Bordeaux or Napa. I find myself in agreement with these politics, even though it sadly means only a handful of people will have access to a wine of this magnitude. This special Redigaffi comes from a single plot (that measures under one hectare) planted in 1988. This was Tua Rita's original Merlot vineyard and is where fruit was sourced to make the most successful editions of the wine (including the 100-point 2000 vintage). This wine ages in oak for three years (longer than the 750-milliliter Redigaffi), and the wood sees a higher level of toast. That extra spice and oak astringency is noted. The first commercial vintage of this wine was 1994, but Tua Rita is celebrating the 20th anniversary now because an experimental wine was also produced more than 20 years ago in 1993. My tasting notes are obviously very similar to my review of the 2013 regular Redigaffi, and I am impressed by the wine's generosity and its infinite complexity. The bouquet is packed tight with black fruit, spice, tar and grilled herb. There is also an imperfect point of greenness or tightness buried deep within that adds to the firmness of the tannins, both the fruit and the oak tannins. However, this magnum bottling has a long, long way to go in terms of its evolution, and I am quite sure that its aging trajectory will take it through untold waves of ups and downs. If there is one lesson I came away with as I tasted this wine over and over again, it is this: There is a lifeline here. This is a living, breathing, evolving wine of beauty and potential.

This is a year of birthdays for Tua Rita. The iconic Redigaffi is celebrating its 20th anniversary (1993-2013) with a special magnum release, the 2013 Redigaffi 7 Magnum. A mere 420 magnums were produced, and the wine is hitting the market at an ambitious $1,600 retail. The 2017 Guisto di Notri is also distinguished by a special label to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Auguri, or congratulations, Tua Rita. 

Source Issue 244 End of August 2019, The Wine Advocate