Lupicaia, which means "place of the wolf hunts," is a vineyard of 12.5 acres planted 90 percent to Cabernet Sauvignon vines and ten percent to Merlot vines planted in 1989. This is the estate's finest microclimate and yields its best grapes. Exposure is on south-southwest-facing slopes in soils consisting of stones and sand which are sheltered by eucalyptus trees. The Terriccio estate's position also enjoys this microclimate's proximity to the coast which subjects it to maritime influences which create a long, warm growing season of great luminosity. The grapes are hand-harvested and hand-selected between mid-September and early October, with pickers making two consecutive passes through the vineyards to permit the fullest and most perfect ripening of the clusters.
Red wine production is under the technical direction of consulting oenologist Carlo Ferrini. The vinification facility, originally a grain-storage facility built in 1894, has been upgraded with the installation of the most technically advanced temperature-controlled conical stainless steel fermenters. Grapes are fully destemmed and undergo an extended maceration with the skins during and after fermentation. Total maceration time is approximately 20 to 24 days. Following malolactic fermentation, the wines are transferred to all new Allier oak barriques during which period they are racked into stainless steel tanks for analysis before being returned to cleaned barrels. This takes place every four to five months, and the lots and clones remain separate until final blending in September. The wine remains in barrique for eighteen to twenty months and receives only a rough filtration to remove gross lees prior to bottling.
Wine & SpiritsRating: 91/100 - As reviewed by Wine & Spirits Magazine on 04/09. This blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petit verdot clearly looks to Bordeaux for inspiration, although the black mushroom flavors and earthy tannins plant it firmly in Tuscany. It gains more depth and mineral character with air, a counterbalance to the rich texture and ripe blackberry fruit. An elegant, stately pour for a ribeye.