Cabernet Franc from Villa Santo Stefano
Reitzle calls him NINA in honor of his wife
Hard to say who is more illustrious or more dazzling? Nina Ruge, the TV presenter and author of successful books on non-aging or the long-standing top manager of top companies in the automotive industry, Wolfgang Reitzle. With the Villa Santo Stefano in the rolling hills above Lucca, he has fulfilled a dream for himself and Nina. Not only the villa, but also the newly designed garden or park is an example of how passionate Wolfgang Reitzle is.
And he also strives further in the small and fine winery on site... The experienced cellar master Alessio Farnesi, who previously worked for Giorgio Rivetti from La Spinetta for several years, has been with the winery since 2013 Responsible for implementing ideas.
After the Loto Bordeaux blend, which anchored the winery on the map of Italy's top wineries right from the start in 2006, a pure Cabernet Franc has now appeared on the scene; in a small edition of just 2,000 bottles at a price that is significantly higher than LOTO. But at around €70 per bottle it seems reasonable compared to other Tuscans.
Of course, the presentation (at Prowein 2023) was preceded by several years of planning. The wine was conceived in leased vineyards in the Maremma (near Manciano), which Wolfgang Reitzle was able to purchase last year (almost 11 hectares of vineyards). The property is planted with the classic Bordeaux grape varieties, which also form the basis for the Loto wine. The four grape varieties of the top wine LOTO thrive in this area, which was perfectly laid out almost 20 years ago by the well-known wine consultant Carlo Ferrini: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
The winemaking of the new Cabernet Franc is of course also of the very finest, and the owners don't pull any punches. And internationally he introduces himself: “Nina shows intense ruby red tones and a characteristic varietal aroma with notes of sweet pepper, raspberries, cherries and berries. In the mouth it is fresh, elegant with a fine and very balanced tannin while the finish is long, juicy and immediately invites one to another glass."
The increased level of the wines was also demonstrated by the small vertical at Prowein with the tasting of the Loto from the 2017, 2018, 2019 vintages. According to Petra Pforr, the Loto should be from the 2022 vintage are produced exclusively from Maremma grapes.
In recent years, the entire range has gained shape: Sereno is produced from grapes from the vineyards near Lucca; a Doc Colline Lucchesi with Sangiovese and smaller amounts of Ciliegiolo, Canaiolo and Colorino. The strong red wine Volo is essentially a second wine to Loto, which comes from the young vineyards of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante. And the introduction to the world of Santo Stefano - not just for young wine lovers - is offered by the Vermentino Gioia and the Rosato Luna, which is made from Sangiovese and Ciliegiolo.
With the purchase of the Maremma vineyard, last year was a very special one for the Villa Santo Stefano team. And this year the new red wine NINA provides a trump card to further distinguish itself among the Tuscan wineries.
All grapes and wines are grown and pressed in the modern wine cellar next to the villa. The grapes arrive in a refrigerated transporter, where everyone's respected wine consultant Attilio Pagli also keeps an eye on them. His credo for producing top wines: Get the best out of your own grapes with great attention to detail. There's always something magical about it, like the angel wings on the label.
The magic of the place is described in the article by the ex-Bunte editor on his blog, which we recommend as a supplement. https://gourmino-express.com/wolfgang-reitzle-nina-ruge/
Dr. Steffen Maus, Tel. +49 170 4886234