Caiarossa, a corner of France in Tuscany

by Stefania Vinciguerra 10/24/14
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Caiarossa, a corner of France in Tuscany

The name indicates the estate’s key characteristic because Caiarossa is the local dialect for ‘ghiaia rossa’ (red gravel), a component found in the soils of all its diverse vineyards and is the common thread that gives finesse to the various wines made and makes them recognizable.

Red is also the color of the estate’s headquarters, a house you can see from afar just when you think you’ve lost your way. In reality it is just a few kilometers from Riparbella, a medieval hamlet a dozen or so kilometers from the Tuscan coast in the Cecina hinterland. The district of Bolgeri is just a few kilometers to the south with the Montescudaio hills between. Although it is in the Val di Cecina, not far from the wonderful city of Volterra, Caiarossa is in an almost hidden area, far away from the more touristic zones, immersed in the silence of a lush, green landscape. It is not an easy place to find a place and you have to want to go there.
The estate was acquired ten years ago by Dutch businessman Eric Albada Jegersma who had fallen in love with Tuscany and was looking for a place to produce wines that were different from those of his estates in Bordeaux (two Grand Crus Classés in Margaux Chateau Giscours an Chateau du Terte). However, he insisted on using a clearly French winemaking approach that could only work if the vineyards were not far from the sea. The result was a successful mix between the elegance of Bordeaux and the sunny nature of Tuscany.
The estate is made up of 70 hectares of mostly forest, olive groves and vineyards. Given the diverse nature of the soils, dozens of plots were identified to grow different varieties of grapes. The most planted (over six hectares) is Cabernet Franc, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot and Alicante. There are also two hectares of white grapes: Viognier, Petit Manseng and Chardonnay. According to Dominique Génot, the estate’s director and enologist, Val di Cecina is a ‘new’ area for the production of fine wines and this allows a certain leeway in choosing which grapes to grow.
The density of the vineyards is high (an average of over 9,000 stocks per hectare), the yield is very low (40-45,000 kg per hectare) and biodynamic farming methods are used. All this has contributed to rising levels of quality in the wines.
We begin this Caiarossa tasting review with a ‘distraction’, their latest creation Aria di Caiarossa which is considered the younger brother of the estate’s principle wine. The last wine is also making its official debut: Essenzia di Caiarossa, a rare pearl that director General Alexander Van Beek described as the ‘essence’ of the best grapes from the best harvests and which estate owner Dennis Albada Jegersma (Erik’s son) gazed at with the pride of a father watching his young son take his first steps.

Related Products

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Aria di Caiarossa 2011
Toscana
Caiarossa 10/24/14 Redazione The first vintage of this deauxiem vin de la maison, a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The wine fermented in part in cement and in part in large wooden vats before...
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Caiarossa 2006
Toscana
Caiarossa 10/24/14 Redazione This is the estate’s flagship wine, the definitive version of which was established in 2003 as a blend of seven red grapes grown on the estate, the percentages of which change year-by-year.It ages...
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Caiarossa 2007
Toscana
Caiarossa 10/24/14 Redazione An overall warmer and drier summer allowed grapes of every variety to reach full maturity and the produce wines with warm and wrapping characteristics. This wine has light garnet reflections in its...
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Caiarossa 2008
Toscana
Caiarossa 10/24/14 Redazione Intense spring rains, followed by a hot and dry summer resulted in smaller and more concentrated grapes and thus lower yield. The ruby color here is a very concentrated and dense (the percentage of...
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Caiarossa 2009
Toscana
Caiarossa 10/24/14 Redazione The weather this year was similar to that of 2007 with the Merlot picked early while the harvest of the other grapes was excellent and regular. This has a full, ruby color with young, fleeting purple...
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Caiarossa 2011
Toscana
Caiarossa 10/24/14 Redazione A severe and very rainy winter was followed by a hot spring and a regular summer which led to an early harvest for all varieties, making 2011 the earliest in Caiarossa’s short history. In the glass...
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Caiarossa 2010
Toscana
Caiarossa 10/24/14 Redazione Both winter and spring were very rainy and this was not fully compensated for during summer and delayed harvest by a dozen or so days. The color is less intense and the aroma plays less on fruit with...
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Essenzia di Caiarossa 2009
Toscana
Caiarossa 10/24/14 Redazione A debut for this wine which is produced only in magnum bottles (just 500 for this first vintage) and designed to be best wine from the best years. This 2009 is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Alicante...
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Pergolaia Caiarossa, a Tuscany-French from the Coast 23/10/2017 Stefania Vinciguerra A Wine a day




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