know the story of Super Tuscan wines, how in the 1970's the likes of
Antinori broke the rules and introduced French grape varieties to Italy.
Hold on. Re-wind. Quite far, in fact, back to the 1500's when Henry II of
France married Catherine de Medici. The French gifted the Medici family
some Cabernet vines, which they planted in their vineyards in Carmignano.
Carmignano is a tiny 110 hectare appellation in Tuscany, protected from
the cold of the north by the Apennines, and from the vagaries of coastal
weather by the Montalbano hills, with soils rich in clay and schist. It
already had a great reputation for growing local varieties like
Sangiovese - by the 1700's it had already been given a protected
classification - and it has been blending these with Cabernet
varieties for hundreds of years.
Roll forward to the 1970's, and Mauro Vannucci wanted to buy a house
in the country for his family. He bought a piece of land from
Count Bonacossi's Villa Capezzana estate, in Poggio a Caiano,
which included 2.5 hectares of vines in the Piaggia cru vineyard, in
Carmignano. This had been planted in the local style with Cabernet
Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, although the cuttings for these
had been taken from Chateau Lafite Rothschild...
Vannucci started to experiment, got the bug, employed some top
consultants, and in very short time started winning top awards and high
acclaim from Parker for his Carmignano Riserva.
We are delighted to introduce you to Carmignano with Vannucci's 2019
'It's hard to put the glass down... This is pure
elegance - The balance here is amazing, which might trick readers into
finishing their bottles far too quickly, but trust me, the best is truly
yet to come.
This is Rock Star juice.'
Eric Guido, vinous
daughter Silvia is now in charge of the 20 hectare estate, which is
at up to 250 meters above sea level in the Piaggia, Sasso and Poggio de’
Colli crus. She has really dialed back on the new oak, now only using
about 10% with each vintage, has introduced organics, only uses wild
yeasts, and lets the wines speak for themselves.
The 2019 Carmignano Riserva is a blend of 70% Sangiovese along with
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, which has a year and a
half in oak and six months resting in bottle before release.
This will age beautifully, but as Eric Guido points out, it might be
hard to resist the temptation!
2019 Piaggia Carmignano
£225 per 6
hard to put the glass down while exploring the depths of raspberry
compote, dried orange peels, roses, exotic spice and a dusting of cocoa
that form the absolutely stunning bouquet of the 2019 Carmignano Riserva
Piaggia. This is pure elegance, It's silky and refined as liquid violet
florals and ripe red and black fruits easily rush across the palate. Its
vibrant acidity maintains exceptional finesse despite the massive primary
concentration slowly taking hold. The 2019 finishes long with a coating
of sweet tannins and balsamic-tinged cherry. The balance here is amazing,
which might trick readers into finishing their bottles far too quickly,
but trust me, the best is truly yet to come. This is Rock Star juice.
96pt, Eric Guido, vinous
the flagship Carmignano Riserva blend, Silvia Vannucci also produces a
100% Cabernet Franc made from the best plots of the Poggio de’ Colli cru
vineyard, on the highest part of the Piaggia estate.
'The darkly alluring 2020 Cabernet Franc... is velvety
smooth yet finessed.
What a radiant vintage for the Poggio de' Colli, Piaggia's
varietal Cabernet Franc. Revisit it in five years to see some real sparks
Eric Guido, vinous
Poggio de'Colli Vineyard
use of old French clones present on the estate, and after years of
careful vinification and specific wine tastings, the Vannuccis began
producing a monovarietal Cabernet Franc: Poggio de' Colli.
These vines turn out to be ideally suited to the habitat,
producing wines of outstanding elegance, refinement and complexity.
A combination of French tradition with the heart and soul of
Tuscany, Poggio de' Colli is an unconventional wine that is both
unique and unrepeatable. Definitely one of the cellar, it should be
fantastic in a few years!
2020 Piaggia Cabernet
Franc Poggio de’Colli @ £309 per 6
darkly alluring 2020 Cabernet Franc Poggio de' Colli takes its time in
the glass, slowly awakening with a dusty mix of red currants,
pepper-tinged rose, exotic curries and the slightest touch of animal musk
that adds gravitas. This is velvety smooth yet finessed. It's cool- toned
in feel with a potent wave of tart raspberry fruits that saturates the
palate with savory spice and mineral tones. It leaves a coating of fine
tannins and a staining of berry concentration through the finale,
tapering off sapid and long, yet perfectly balanced. What a radiant
vintage for the Poggio de' Colli, Piaggia's varietal Cabernet Franc.
Revisit it in five years to see some real sparks fly.
The charming and ebullient Michel Chapoutier, the legendary Rhône producer, has just released his 2020 Sélections Parcellaires , his single vineyard wines , and we were very privileged to attend a tasting with him in London this week. At the risk of sounding clichéd, both the reds and whites were amazing! Chapoutier is incredibly enthusiastic, and loves to talk in great depth about a great many things when it comes to his wines and wine making techniques. His opening gambit was that he doesn't try to make the best wine possible, but instead to reflect the best expression of his terroir! He moved on to say that 2020, a dry, warm vintage, had very similar conditions to those of 2003, a vintage which he freely admitted was pretty awful, with short, bitter wines. However, we were regaled with a lengthy and technical discourse on how his vines have adapted to the changing climate in the intervening years, due largely to the enormous efforts made in biodynamics and non-interventioni
This week we had the opportunity to taste the extraordinary new release from Gaja - the 2018 Barbaresco - with Gaia Gaja at Maccelaio restaurant in London. The wine was absolutely stunning and this came as no surprise, as Gaja decided to include all of their famed single vineyard juice (from Sori San Lorenzo, Sori Tildin & Costa Russi) into their estate Barbaresco. Perfumed, complex and with such beautiful finesse and elegance, it was simply a joy to taste. 'The hallmark of the Gaja estate, the Barbaresco is sourced from 14 vineyards within Barbaresco and Treiso. For the 2018 vintage, there will be no single cru bottlings for Barbaresco' Jeb Dunnuck Gaja Barbaresco has an extraordinary track record and this is a wine that the family have been making since 1859. It is 100% Nebbiolo sourced from the families various vineyards located in the municipality of Barbaresco. The winery was founded in 1859 in Langhe, Piedmont by Giovanni Gaja and it is his great grandson, Ang
We are delighted to offer a parcel of the truly magical 2016 Château Cos d’Estournel. Château Cos d'Estournel is named after its 19th century owner, Louis-Gaspard d'Estournel, and it was he who built the beautiful oriental edifice that is a landmark for any tourist in the Médoc. Today Cos d'Estournel is without doubt the leading estate in St-Estéphe. It is located in the south of the appellation on the border with Pauillac and its vineyards are superbly sited on a south-facing gravel ridge with a high clay content, just north of Lafite. ‘This is a monumental, benchmark Cos d’Estournel that will give not years but decades of pleasure’ Neal Martin