Grattamacco's 2020 Bolgheri Superiore L’Alberello is impressive. Crushed red berry fruit, white pepper, mint, flowers, spice and blood orange all race across the palate, with notable freshness and vibrancy. This deceptively mid-weight Maremma red is beautifully finessed and nuanced from start to finish. I especially admire the energy here. Pretty floral and mineral notes brighten up the finish, with high-toned aromatics that linger.
Drink 2025 - 2040
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (August 2023)
This is a preview look at the 2020 Bolgheri Superiore l'Alberello tasted at the winery. This wine is very different from the estate's flagship Bolgheri Superiore Grattamacco. For one, the vines are planted according to the alberello or "bush" training system in a special symmetrical grid so that each plant enjoys the same exposure. The blend is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc. This unfinished vintage shows a strong mineral or salty signature with earth, licorice, dried mint and wet clay.
Drink 2024 - 2040
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (July 2022)
There's a yin and yang between the lush blackberry, black currant and cherry fruit and the tense, grainy tannins in this red, which starts out fluid, then tightens up as it builds to the long finish. Mineral and underbrush notes add depth. Just feels more youthful than its peers at this stage. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
Best from 2026 through 2045.
Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (August 2023)
About this WINE
Grattamacco Estate is perched atop a hill facing the Tyrrhenian Sea between Castagneto Carducci and Bolgheri along the Maremma coast in Tuscany. Founded in 1977, Grattamacco was one of the first along with Sassicaia, to start producing wines in this region. Of the 80ha estate, 29ha are dedicated to vines. The 10ha of vineyards dedicated to making Grattamacco are located on steep slopes 100 metres above sea level.
The vineyards are protected from the strong winds by a natural valley and organic farming techniques are practiced. The vines have an average age of 20 years and only the best grapes from each vineyard are used to make this wine. 2017 Grattamacco is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 15% Sangiovese.
The harvest is done by hand, vinification of the Sangiovese grapes take place in open wooden vats and stainless steel for the other two varieties. Manual punch downs are carried out to facilitate a gentle extraction of the tannins. The wine is then aged in French oak barriques for 18 months and a further 12 months in bottle.
Bolgheri is a new DOC in the coastal Maremma region which first rose to prominence during the 1970s with the emergence of the so-called Super Tuscan wines like Ornellaia and Sassicaia. These new ventures had rocked the DOC establishment by using high proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon, opting out of the DOC system and relabeling their wines as simply Vino da Tavola (table wine).
Having won universal acclaim and exchanging hands for unprecedented prices (higher even than Tuscany's finest examples), the authorities relented and awarded Bolgheri its own DOC. The actions of the Super Tuscans inspired a generation in Italy, even if some of the wines here have lost a little of their lustre since.
The most famous red wine grape in the world and one of the most widely planted.
It is adaptable to a wide range of soils, although it performs particularly well on well-drained, low-fertile soils. It has small, dusty, black-blue berries with thick skins that produce deeply coloured, full-bodied wines with notable tannins. Its spiritual home is the Médoc and Graves regions of Bordeaux where it thrives on the well-drained gravel-rich soils producing tannic wines with piercing blackcurrant fruits that develop complex cedarwood and cigar box nuances when fully mature.
The grape is widely planted in California where Cabernet Sauvignon based wines are distinguished by their rich mixture of cassis, mint, eucalyptus and vanilla oak. It is planted across Australia and with particular success in Coonawarra where it is suited to the famed Terra Rossa soil. In Italy barrique aged Cabernet Sauvignon is a key component in Super Tuscans such as Tignanello and Sassicaia, either on its own or as part of a blend with Sangiovese.