Pepite is a delicious new natural wine produced by Anna Maria Cruciata and Hugh Maxwell, owners of the dynamic, quality focused Val di Toro estate in the Maremma that lies between Grosseto and Scansano. This is their first foray into the natural wine category with Pepite being produced with absolutely nothing added to the fermenting must or the finished wine which is made from 100% skin contact Vermentino.
The harvest for the Pepite Vermentino was done in two stages with the first phase occurring at the beginning of September 2019 when a small quantity of grapes were collected by hand and transported to the winery. These were used to prepare the ‘pied de cuvee’, utilizing the whole bunches and pressing them manually into a small vat. After about three days, once the juice had started fermenting naturally with its own yeasts, it was used to inoculate the other grapes which had been collected in the meantime, destemmed, pressed and placed into a steel vat.
After five days the grapes were pressed and during the first few days of fermentation several pump downs were performed. Five days into fermentation and the cap raised, settling occurred, followed by racking and the pressing of the must. The fermentation was concluded in stainless steel vats. Several more racking operations were carried out in the following weeks while the Pepite was ageing for five months in steel vats. Bottling occurred at the end of January 2020 without any filtration or additions of sulphur.
Val di Toro Pepite Vermentino Biologico 2019, IGT Costa Toscana, 12.5 Abv.
A truly wonderful skin contact white expression that combines pin point precision, wound spring tension and purity. Super linear and focused with a fine taut freshness laced with a lemon iced tea complexity, ginger biscuits, wild herbs, apple purée and crunchy white peach nuances. The intensity on the palate is pithy and slightly grippy with subtle hints of skin contact phenolics, green tea, walnuts, a stony liquid minerality and a long, cool, peachy, delicately saline fresh finish. Effortlessly drinkable, totally moreish, this is the type of wine you’ll need to buy multiple bottles of because they will disappear so quickly! A great characterful new wine from the Val di Toro team of Anna Maria and Hugh. Drink now and over the next 2 to 3 years.
(Wine Safari Score: 92/100 Greg Sherwood MW)