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Forgotten Vertical of Redigaffi

Posted: Aug 7, 2006 11:27am ET

This past weekend, I was thinking about the greatness of the 1997 Tua Rita Redigaffi, which I blogged about last week, and how wonderful the 2004 is. Apparently, the latter is being shipped to the United States later this year and will be on the market in 2007.

I remembered that I had done a vertical tasting of Redigaffi in the cellar early last summer, but the notes had never been published. Some of the wines, such as the 1995 and 1994, have never been tasted for the magazine. So I thought I'd share those notes with you.

Also a reader asked me to provide a little bit more information about the source of Redigaffi. Until about 2001, the wine was made from about two acres of vineyards planted in 1988 on the gentle slopes near the town of Suvereto that overlook the Mediterranean in the distance. Tua Rita planted another 10 acres of Merlot in the same area in 1997, and now some of the grapes from the new plantings go into the Redigaffi, while the rest go into the winery's Bordeaux blend, Giusto di Notri. (The 2004 bottling of this is also excellent.)

Here are my notes for the vertical of Redigaffi; these wines were not tasted blind.

2002: A beautiful wine with vanilla, raspberry and toast. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a long finish. Delicious. Best after 2006. 91 points.

2001: Licorice, mineral, blackberry. Full-bodied, with fantastic tannins. Super-long and beautiful. Everything in balance. Even better than I remember. Breathtaking wine. Drink after 2007. 97

2000: Big and jammy with a hint of herbs. Full-bodied and slightly loosely knit. It is outstanding but lacks a tiny bit of balance--even the owner says this. Drink now. 90

1999: Firm and powerful with lots of berry, mineral and vanilla. Full-bodied, silky and long. It has not changed. Still lots of primary fruit. Give it time. Better after 2007. 95

1998: Intense aromas of plum with fresh herb, hints of minerals, green coffee bean. Full-bodied, with ripe berry and plum fruit flavors. Long and silky. Very firm. Slightly herbal but pretty, turns to vanilla in the aftertaste. Drink now. 93

1997: Complex nose of berries, coconut, basil and meat. Licorice. Full bodied, with silky tannins and a super-long finish. It is a rich and exciting wine with sexy fruit and a plummy, lightly earthy finish. It goes on and on. A benchmark for the great vintage of 1997. Drink now or hold. 98

1996: This is holding on beautifully, with mineral and fruit aromas with light hints of licorice. Full-bodied, racy and very long. Firm and rich. Still young. Drink now. 92

1995: Plenty of tobacco, meat and leafy character with plums on the nose. Full to medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a sweet fruit finish. Licorice. Fresh and fruity still. Long. Drink now. 92

1994: First vintage. Attractive berry, plum, licorice and tobacco character. Medium to full-bodied. Long and silky. Very pretty now. Reminds me of Pétrus from the early 1980s. Drink now. 90

Danapat Promphan
Bangkok, Thailand —  August 8, 2006 5:02am ET
Dear James,
Rob Lentini
Alexandria, Virginia —  August 8, 2006 10:37am ET
Thanks for the notes! I briefly looked up availability on the wine to see if grabbing a bottle was feasible. Price tag is nuts! $280, $242, $345 for 2003, 2002, and 2001... I'll have to enjoy them vicariously through you. The Giusto is pretty expensive, too. Sound delicious, though.
Rob Lentini
Alexandria, Virginia —  August 8, 2006 10:40am ET
James - How would you compare the 2003 Redigaffi to the 2003 Fattoria Petrolo Galatrona, also a Merlot? Or in general for other vintages? Have you tried the 2004 Galatrona?
Massimo Marinucci
Pound Ridge, NY —  August 9, 2006 11:27am ET
James,what happened to the 2003 Redigaffi? That's an incredible wine. Have you tasted it yet?
James Suckling
 —  August 9, 2006 11:57am ET
Massimo. I tasted it last year from bottle in a blind tasting in my office. So they didn't include it. I gave it 95 points.
James Suckling
 —  August 9, 2006 12:03pm ET
I find Redigaffi a little more opulent and exotic while Galatrona is a little more minerally and refined. It's like comparing Petrus (latter) to Le Pin (former). You are going to love the 2004 Galatrona.

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