Torre Testa | Tenute Rubino | Casa del Susumaniello

Torre Testa

Variety
Susumaniello
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Estate of origin
Jaddico
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Torre Testa | Tenute Rubino | Casa del Susumaniello
Torre Testa | Tenute Rubino | Casa del Susumaniello

Torre Testa.
Susumaniello in purezza.

Tenute Rubino’s Torre Testa is a monovarietal Susumaniello, the crowning jewel of the company’s recovery project: a wine in which complexity and elegance find a perfect balance. Having received many awards by national and international industry outlets, this label is a recognized flag-bearer of contemporary Apulian oenology, as evidenced by the success obtained even in the most demanding markets. An intense red of great elegance and finesse obtained from partially raisined grapes, it is a symbol of Salento’s oenological renaissance, a wine that stands out thanks to its robust supporting acidity and tannins of unparalleled finesse.

Since its first vintage in 2000, Torre Testa has consistently received the highest awards from some of the most prestigious Italian and foreign guides and magazines.

Estate Characteristics
Variety
Susumaniello
Estate of origin
Jaddico–Giancòla
Altitude
At sea level
Soil Characteristics
sandy
Training system
head training and spurred cordon
Vinification
Fermentation
Between 22-24°C in steel tanks
Maceration
16 days at controlled temperature
Ageing
5-6 months in steel tanks; minimum 12 months in French oak barrique; 12 months in the bottle
Food pairings
It needs structured dishes such as pappardelle with meat sauce, grilled or roasted meat. Very good the match with seasoned cheeses such as Canestrato Pugliese DOP.

Vintage

  1. A treasure hiding in plain sight.
    A century and a millennium ends and Tenute Rubino is still spreading its wings. Tommaso Rubino is keen to encourage the valuable intuitions of his son Luigi, supporting him with all the insight and knowledge of someone who has dedicated his life to winemaking. The company already has a young and promising oenologist – Luca Petrelli – who listens to and begins sharing the dreams of this young entrepreneur who sees the potential of a particular terroir and of vines that, at the time, few people were likely to recognize. In time they begin talking about an ancient vine, once very popular in the Brindisi area, where growers were in the habit of planting it between rows of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera. A strange little grape known as Susumaniello. The two have many questions, especially for Piernicola Tondo – the seasoned agronomist of the Rubino family. Come harvest time, the grapes are of an intense blue colour, the clusters are small and tightly packed: many of the distinctive qualities of this forgotten vine already very apparent.

  2. The Replanting.
    A crucial year for Tenute Rubino. Luigi has decided to perform a massal selection of the Susumaniello obtained from the oldest plants, the ones which have achieved the best productive balance. The original vineyard has been established in the post-war years and most of it needs to be dug out. The Susumaniello vines however are kept, to be replanted in a plot at the centre of the Jaddico estate. The coming fall, Susumaniello is harvested separately, to experiment with different picking times and several micro-fermentations performed by Luca Petrelli and evaluated by Luigi and Tommaso. Everyone is surprised by the colour: a deep blue wine with reddish highlights, with a strong aromatic profile. The palate is muscular, powerful and full-bodied, almost chewy. There is a need for wood to subdue the power of its tannins. Some distinctive elements, however, are clear, especially to Luigi Rubino. The team decides to consult an oenologist who fully understands the potential of this grape. Tommaso Rubino welcomes on board Riccardo Cotarella.
    For their first meeting, Luigi Rubino wants to give him a broad picture of the potential of this almost forgotten grape variety. He wants make a new wine and call it Torre Testa, an homage to the tower built here in Jaddico in the 16th century, one of the many scattered along the Salentine coast, the most important defence against the Ottoman raids on these rich and populous lands. The tasting in the cellar took up the whole afternoon. Riccardo Cotarella was welcomed to a seemingly endless battery of glasses laid out before him, each containing a sample resulting from all the different tests conducted by Luca Petrelli and Luigi Rubino, batches made by experimenting with different harvest times, different woods and maceration techniques. After careful analysis, Cotarella confirms the enormous potential of the grape and, at the same time, observes the need for further work focusing on harvest times.

  3. The Birth of Torre Testa.
    The flagship wine of the Susumaniello Project celebrates its first vintage. Torre Testa 2001 is the first step of a journey in the creation of an iconic label that stands out for its aromatic opulence, elegant texture and, above all, longevity. A wine designed to evolve and improve over time. At this stage, the market knows little or nothing about this grape variety. In the first year the company produces just over 7000 bottles of the new wine, a small treasure closely monitored by Luigi Rubino throughout the ageing phase both in barrique and bottle.

    The wine is challenging, linear, unmistakable in its identity. It begins to attract interest and, in time, a small following. The bottles show promise of great longevity, in time they will evolve into a signature label, a meditation wine. The climatic trend of the year’s vintage, with a mild spring and a hot summer, can be felt in the glass: Torre Testa 2001 contains all the energy of Salento and displays a very intense and almost impenetrable dark red colour. Thanks to the medium toasting of the French oak barriques in which it has matured for 12 long months, it emerges on the palate with classic nuances of red and black berry fruit, chocolate and cinnamon. The finish is intense and clean, with fruity and spicy notes. It is the wine that everyone in Tenute Rubino hoped for: it receives a score of 90 points from Wine Spectator, its first three Glasses from Gambero Rosso and 5 clusters from Duemilavini. It is a great result that warms everyone’s hearts.

  4. A Difficult Harvest.
    A very challenging year for various wine-growing regions throughout Italy, characterized by considerable climatic instability. Luigi Rubino decides to keep the production going, as if to test the performance of the Susumaniello grapes even in the toughest circumstances. The selection is very rigorous and results in a significant drop in production: only 5000 of Torre Testa 2002 bottles are produced, but each one feels like a victory to Luigi Rubino: it will be necessary to wait for the right time to taste it and understand its fabric and its evolutionary potential.

    The colour is dense, highly concentrated. On the nose it releases notes of cocoa and liquorice, while on the palate it is enveloping, elegant and refined. Hints of spice and ripe fruit linger towards a finish of unparalleled persistence, supported with harmony by a perfectly integrated acidic note. The awards keep coming: Gambero Rosso’s three Glasses, 90 points from Falstaff.

  5. Consistent Quality.
    The year opens with abundant rainfall well into the month of April and delivers a dry summer between July and September, an overall balanced growing season. Torre Testa 2003 is elegant and fine. On the nose, notes of red berry fruit, chocolate, cinnamon and liquorice, the palate is caressing and full of charm. The tannins are particularly dense, while the long finish evokes further notes of spice and cocoa. An opulent wine with a great aging potential. The production of bottles is the highest since Torre Testa’s debut, coming up to 9000 bottles. The 2003 vintage receives a very handsome 93 points from the magazine Wine Enthusiast.

  6. A Vintage to Remember.
    An exceptional year yielding bountiful and perfectly ripe fruit. Torre Testa 2004, with its intense ruby red colour, charms the nose with fragrant hints of ripe red fruit and spice, notes of toast and vanilla in perfect balance. On the palate it is dense and elegant in texture, supported by a marked acidity. The tannins are important and the finish is long, of great persistence. Production reaches the 10,000-bottle milestone for the first time. More important awards for this vintage: 5 clusters from Duemilavini, 92 points from I Vini di Veronelli, 92 points awarded by Wine Enthusiast and 90 points by Falstaff.

  7. A Surplus of Elegance.
    Torre Testa 2006 is a wine of great impact. The nose offers notes of very ripe red and black berry fruit. Concentrated and intense, with spicy and mineral nuances. In the mouth it is rich, full and round, pleasantly close-knit and elegant, with a distinctive complexity. The finish is long, enveloping and incredibly persistent. It receives 5 Clusters from DuemilaVini, 92 points from Antonio Galloni on Vinous and 90 points from Veronelli. The 2006 vintage succeeds once again in hitting the 10,000 bottle mark.

  8. An excellent vintage.
    A rich and vigorous wine, the result of an excellent vintage. Spacious and full-bodied on the palate, with notes of spice and ripe fruit which are confirmed on the nose. The aroma is intense, with hints of ripe fruit brought on by the hot summer months. Mineral and balsamic notes complete its complex bouquet. The texture is rich and silky, the tannins enveloping. The long finish ends with a vibrant vein of acidity, imbued with the same touches of fruit and spice. 9000 newly minted bottles are shipped to important international markets. The 2007 vintage receives 93 points from Wine Enthusiast and is awarded the prestigious 5 clusters from Duemilavini.

  9. La raccolta tardiva.
    Si è conclusa la collaborazione con Riccardo Cotarella. Con la 2010 Luigi Rubino e Luca Petrelli danno vita ad un’ulteriore interpretazione del Torre Testa: decidono per una raccolta tardiva delle uve e il risultato è una maggiore ricchezza e intensità del frutto. Il clima fresco ma soleggiato ha dato vita ad un vino dall’equilibrio esemplare, tra espressione aromatica matura, grande freschezza e una qualità di tannini ampi, setosi e perfettamente morbidi. Il colore è intenso e al naso sprigiona note speziate e minerali. Al palato è avvolgente, con intense note di ciliegia matura, spezie e confettura, e un finale che si prolunga con un delicato sentore di cacao. Si raggiunge un nuovo record con 11.000 bottiglie prodotte che vengono premiate con 92 punti su Wine Enthusiast.

  10. Consistency and Elegance.
    A balanced and consistent vintage. With a total production of 12,000 bottles, 2011 fulfils all expectations for the new course launched by Luigi and Luca in 2010: the colour is an intense dark red, the nose is elegant and ethereal with complex notes of black cherry and liqueur plum, black currant and blackberry jam, giving way to hints of chocolate, juniper, nutmeg, liquorice and cinnamon. The complexity is confirmed on the palate: Torre Testa 2011 is silky and round, a rich and generous wine, but also fresh and structured. It stands out considerably compared to previous vintages for its finesse. Not surprisingly, it is awarded Gambero Rosso’s Three Glasses with a stellar score.

  11. A Perfect Balance.
    The 2012 vintage benefited from a particularly dry and sunny vegetative year, which created the ideal conditions for the ripening of the grapes. The result was a perfectly balanced wine, with an intense ruby red colour and flashes of purple on the rim. The nose offers rich notes of fully ripe fruit with a delicate spiciness and hints of red and black berry fruit, which blend on the palate with notes of cocoa and liquorice. The rich and dense structure is balanced by a lively acidity that keeps the finish long, clean and full-bodied. Once again, it receives Three Glasses from the Gambero Rosso wine guide and 94 points from Falstaff. The production is consistent with a total 11,000 bottles produced.

  12. Finesse and Longevity.
    A propitious vintage with no excessive heat peaks, good wind and excellent diurnal temperature variations. Torre Testa 2013 has an intense, almost dark ruby red colour, a great olfactory concentration, thanks to notes of vanilla, liquorice, cocoa, liquored plum and ripe black cherries. On the palate it is full and round, with soft and velvety tannins. The finish, long and persistent, has a dense balsamic aftertaste and hints of chocolate. Undoubtedly, this is one of Torre Testa’s greatest vintages, with an excellent aging potential. Another Three Glasses from Gambero Rosso! We return to the highest levels with 12,000 bottles produced.

  13. Fewer but Exceptional Grapes.
    The vintage stood out above all for its quality. Throughout the region, spring passed in the best possible way and the abundant rains that occurred both in winter and during the vegetative restart favoured budding and promoted the phenological development of the vine in the best possible way. Torre Testa 2015 is dark and intense in colour, with notes of fully ripe red fruit, spice, coffee and chocolate. The bouquet is enlivened by balsamic and mineral notes. In the mouth it is rich and enveloping, full and round, with a density of ample and very soft tannins. The wine is fragrant, delicate and silky, ready to uncork but also worth waiting for. The production of the 2015 harvest came to approx. 7000 bottles.

  14. Soft and Sunny
    The particularly hot climate over the year gave resulted in rich and intense grapes, thus expressing a wine of great intensity that has developed a perfect integration of all its elements. Torre Testa 2016 is characterized by very expressive fruit notes and a velvety and substantial palate. On the nose we have hints of ripe black berry fruit with spicy and balsamic notes. The tannins are abundant but soft and silky. The wine lingers on the palate with delightful acidity and freshness, the finish is long and intense, imbued with those fruity and spicy notes found on the nose. More important awards: 93 points from Robert Parker and 4 Vines from the Vitae guide.

  15. Torre Testa | Tenute Rubino | Casa del Susumaniello

    Intense and caressing
    The abundant rainfall of the spring season guaranteed a more than adequate water supply to the fields and resulted in a harvest of rich and juicy fruit. With its intense, inky ruby red colour, Torre Testa 2017 captures the heart with notes of ripe red fruit such as plum and liqueur cherry. Hints of fruit preserve and dark chocolate give way to spicy notes of cinnamon, black pepper and nutmeg, with precious aromas of vanilla and liquorice. The summer winds blowing in from the Adriatic Sea have enriched the aromatic range of the wine with fresh and mineral notes. The palate is perfectly balanced with well-rounded and delicate tannins. The finish is leisurely and persistent, resulting in a complex, caressing and firm wine. Torre Testa has reached its peak with the 2017 vintage, the 94 points awarded by the prestigious wine magazine Falstaff represent one more important recognition of this wine’s elegance, personality and ageability.