Pugnitello is a rare red grape variety native to Tuscany. The grape gets its name, Italian for “little fist,” from the appearance of the vine’s small bunches of berries. Pugnitello has seen a resurgence in recent years due to efforts from the University of Florence and small estates like Roccapesta. This is a deep red wine, full and intense, its sweeter berry notes complemented by earthy tones.
Dancing Ewe regulars know that Roccapesta is one of our longest-running producers. Alberto Tanzini hails from Piedmont, but he fell in love with Tuscany and bought a parcel of land there decades ago. The estate currently has nearly 20 hectares of vineyards, planted mostly with different Sangiovese clones selected for their suitability to the geology and microclimate of each site.
Morellino di Scansano is an appellation in the southern part of Tuscany, east of Grosseto but still benefiting from the gentle maritime climate: hot days, cool nights, and plenty of breezes from the ocean. Jody believes that Roccapesta makes the best wine in the appellation, expressing the complexity of the soil, which ranges from volcanic to sedimentary clay, and the full, joyous richness of the Sangiovese grape in all its food-friendly glory.
The vineyards are farmed biodynamically, and no additives or filtration are used in the winemaking, so nothing is added to or subtracted from the wines. The fruit is hand-selected and sorted both in the vineyards and then on a conveyor belt before pressing. It’s a lot of work, but this care is evident in every sip. The wines are fermented only with indigenous yeast, so you’re tasting the true, unadulterated terroir of the region. If there were ingredient lists on these bottles, they would say “grapes.”