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Wining Hour Feature: Tenuta Sette Cieli

As we know, some of the best wines in all of Italy come from the Tuscan wine region. We may be familiar with the wines of Montalcino, Chianti, Carmignano, San Gimignano, Montelpuciano, Giglio or wines from the Maremma. Then, in the western coast of Tuscany…there’s Bolgheri. This month, I am featuring two beautiful Super Tuscan wines from Tenuta Sette Cieli: Indaco and Scipio. 

Tenuta Sette Cieli, or Seven Skies Estate, is a boutique winery located between Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci on the west coast of Tuscany. The estate, owned by the Ratti family, sits on 173 acres and is 1300 meters above the Tyrrhenian sea level. Needless to say, the skies, or views are breathtaking. The vineyards, consisting mostly of sand, clay and limestone soils, are situated next door to the original Sassicaia vineyards.  This is a prime location due to its microclimate, which preserves the aroma, flavor, acidity and freshness in the wines,  the hills and high elevation, optimal sun exposure and proximity to the sea, which helps to combat climate change. 

Indigo Skies above Tenuta Sette Cieli

“Discover the soul of wild terrain and transform it into a great wine.”

Ericka Ratti

Today, that vision and dream is executed by Ambrogio and Acqua Ratti (children of Erika Ratti), along with their fabulous winemaker, Elena Pozzolini. According to Wine Enthusiast, Elena is said to be one of “the trailblazing women leading the wine industry forward.” The wines at Tenuta Sette Cieli are, no doubt, influenced by Elena’s work and time in Argentina. Trailblazing indeed. She has demonstrated an open approach in the production of these Tuscan wines. Malbec was planted, likely because it was historically a prominent part of the bordeaux blend, and Tenuta Sette Cieli makes some really fascinating wines.

The family’s respect for the vines and nature is manifested by their organic farming practices and the fact that everything is done by hand. “We have chosen organic viticulture to cooperate with the safekeeping and valorization of the environment, a value that cannot be separated from quality when working with nature.”

Working by hand at Tenuta Sette Cieli (Photo courtesy)

The Wining Hour Tasting: Tenuta Sette Cieli Indaco and Scipio IGT Toscana

Indaco 2017 Toscana IGT is a beautiful bordeaux blend consisting of one third each of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It is very interesting to experience Malbec produced in Italy, as a result of winemaker Elena’s Argentine influence.  

Perhaps this wine is a tribute to the beautiful hues of the skies above the estate (see above), and it gets its name from its rich indigo appearance. In the glass, is a dark, purplish blue. Indaco is very aromatic with a nose of roses, blueberry and violet. The palate confirms this with blueberry, black plum, chocolate and oak.

Indaco is fermented in stainless steel with the addition of white yeast, which accentuates character and yields a full-bodied wine. It is aged for 14 months in barriques, followed by 6 months in the bottle.

Regarding the 2017 vintage, the winery mentioned that it was very dry and they didn’t have any rain. Yet, they had the benefit of the “sea (Tyrrhenian) behind the hills, which was covered by a blanket of fog. This prevented the vines from being stressed. We liked the challenge and we liked the results.”

Indaco has a great balance of tannins and acidity. Indaco is dark and delicate, yet powerful. Persistent and structured. 14.5% ABV.

Scipio 2017 Toscana IGT

Scipio is produced with 100% Cabernet Franc. This lush wine has dark fruit aromas with a palate of blackberry, black currant, black cherry, coffee and leather. There are also earthy and herbaceous  notes, characteristic of Cabernet Franc. Scipio is fermented in stainless steel. Aging occurs for 24 months in French oak, followed by 12 months in the bottle. This is an elegant and complex single varietal Super Tuscan wine. 15% ABV. Did we also mention that this area tends to yield wines high in alcohol?

Tenuta Sette Cieli only produces this wine when there is a good vintage year, as their focus is on quality, not quantity. In hearing them speak about the winery’s goals, I appreciate that “our goal is to remain small and yield the best.” While many wineries wish to expand, Tenuta Sette Cieli’s main objective is high quality wines, as opposed to mass production. Quality over quantity is manifested in every phase of their wine production. 

So, I am not sure of the meaning behind this wine name Scipio. However, I will share my own thoughts. When I think of Scipio, I think of the notable Roman General.  By definition, scipio, is a scepter or stick which usually denotes authority and royalty.  Taking all of that into consideration, I would certainly say that Scipio demands attention…and it gets my attention. Scipio is an excellent expression of Cabernet Franc with a lovely flavor profile. Very well crafted.

I recently had the pleasure of joining a webinar to learn more about this winery, hear from the owner and winemaker and taste their wines. If you haven’t already, grab yourself a bottle of these top-quality Super Tuscan beauties!

Planted, harvested and aged in NY. I have a background in education and marketing, with a love and passion for travel...and all things wine. In addition to writing about wine, I also maintain an online wine boutique (thewininghour.com) that caters to the winelover, as well as the weekly vinous winechat (#WiningHourChat) on Twitter (see page for more info).

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