On Thursday December 4th at 6:30 Stellina continues its series of Italian red wine tastings with an evening devoted entirely to the Sangiovese grape, the premier grape of Tuscany.
Tuscany is the home of many of Italy’s most famous and collectable wines. Foremost in terms of popularity is undoubtedly the wines from the Chianti region. But there are many varieties and styles of Chianti, each with their own personality. For this tasting we’ll sample Tenuta Arceno’s Classico Riserva, made with the best grapes, from the most highly prized vineyards, and given extra bottle aging to insure superior quality.
One of the most sought-after wines today are the Super-Tuscans, high-end blends of Sangiovese and other European grape types. We’ll be pouring the predecessor of all Super-Tuscans, the Carmignano of Capezzana. It’s a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah.
Modern styling is represented by the Il Nero di Casanova by Spinetta. It’s a richer version of Sangiovese, very fruit forward and vibrant.
The tasting will finish with not one, but two wines from the picturesque hilltop town of Montalcino. These wines are the fullest, richest, most “masculine” of the region. We’ll begin with a Rosso from Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, and finish with a regal Brunello from La Poderina.
Four courses of antipasti will be served alongside the wines, to show them to their best advantage. Expert commentary from an industry representative will round out the presentation.
Cost per person is $45, including all wine and antipasti. Reservations are required.
Call 617-924-9475 or go to the reservation page of our website
Tenuta Arceno Chianti Classico Riserva
Chianti Classico, DOCG Toscana
A reserve level Sangiovese blend crafted from carefully selected blocks in the finest vineyards. Aged a minimum of 24 months for greater complexity.
Aromas/ Flavors: Dark cherry, earth, licorice, tobacco and toasty oak.
James Suckling: “The nose to this is so beautiful with licorice and dark fruits. Full body with lovely, integrated, polished tannins. Long and caressing. Very, very beautiful.” Oct 2012
Tenuta di Arceno embodies the past, present and future of Tuscany. This impressive 2,500-acre estate lies in Tuscany’s Chianti Classico region between Florence and Siena. Wines have been made in these hills since the dawn of the Etruscan civilization nearly 3,000 years ago. Since its purchase by Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke in 1994, Tenuta di Arceno has become one of Tuscany’s premier wineries.
The estate climbs from 1,000 to 1,750 feet above sea level and features 220 acres of vineyards. The site boasts a sundrenched southwest exposure and ample protection from the cold north winds. The well-draining, stony soils naturally restrict crop levels and reflect sunlight back up to the vines creating additional warmth and light for the grapes.
As with many of Chianti Classico’s greatest wineries, Tenuta di Arceno grows both native Italian and Bordeaux varieties, however, Sangiovese is the signature grape of this estate, with smaller percentages of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, which add complexity and diversity to Tenuta di Arceno’s final blends. Tight vine spacing, low yields and modern winemaking methods create wines that are rich, pure, regionally specific and highly expressive.
Despite an illustrious history, Carmignano’s wines spent much of the past century in the shadow of Chianti and Tuscany’s other, more well-known wine regions. The area was noted for its wines as far back as 1396, and in 1716 the Grand Duke Cosimo III de Medici thought enough of the wines to establish the region’s borders by official decree. The 1930s were less kind, and for four decades Carmignano was subsumed as just another part of an expanded Chianti.
There are ample reasons for considering Carmignano a separate zone. Located west of Florence, Carmignano is a bit farther north than Chianti Classico, and the slightly cooler climate means Sangiovese struggles to ripen there; most of the vineyards, in fact, are located on east-facing slopes to squeeze out every bit of heat from the morning sun. This means the typical Sangiovese going into a Carmignano blend is lighter in body, higher in acid, and often more fragrant than its cousins in Chianti. It also explains the use of Cabernet Sauvignon, which helps fill out the darker fruit range of aromas and the structure of the wines, which might otherwise seem too thin and lean. Records indicate that Cabernet had already secured a spot in local vineyards back in the 18th century, about the time Cosimo was putting his stamp of approval on the area. From 10 to 20% Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc is allowed in the blend, and Merlot and Syrah can also find their way into the bottle under a catch-all 10% “other varietals” category. Even with these additions, Carmignano usually retains an elegance that contrasts with the full, robust international style of the Super-Tuscans, which are mostly made from warmer, more southerly vineyards.
The Capezzana’s “Trefiano” Carmignano was originally produced as from grapes grown in the vineyards surrounding a villa of the same name. It’s currently on hiatus while the vineyards are converted to organic farming; hopefully recent vintages will be released soon, as the older wines show all the hallmarks of quality. 1996 was a relatively cool vintage in Tuscany, and that year’s Trefiano is at the far end of the Carmignano spectrum from the 2003 described previously. It’s light-bodied, with notes of sour cherry, white chocolate, and tobacco, and some licorice touches appear on the palate. Tannins and acidity are still present, but the mouth-feel is silky and soft. This wine is coming off its peak, but it’s still very enjoyable and elegant, and very clearly Carmignano.
Bright dark red. Spicy red berries, cherry and a flinty nuance on the nose. Then silky, supple and sweet with chewy black and red cherry flavors. Not especially fleshy but offers an attractive restrained sweetness and finishes with rather soft tannins and good length. Perfect for sirloin steak, grilled, roasted or stewed red meats.
“La Poderina’s 2008 Brunello di Montalcino is one of the most delicious wines of the vintage. Freshly cut roses, red berries, cloves and mint are all woven together in a fabric of unusual class. Layers of fruit continue to develop, leading to a rich, creamy finish that is striking in its beauty. A relatively big, fruit-driven wine, the 2008 is all about balance. In this style, it is easily one of the very finest wines made in Montalcino. I have to say, it is also one of the most joyous, exuberant wines I tasted during my week in Montalcino. The 2008 was aged 60% in cask and 40% in barrel for 12 months, followed by another 12 months all in cask.”
93 Points The Wine Advocate
“La Poderina is a beautiful, well-managed estate that playfully straddles both a traditional and modern approach to Brunello. Thick black fruit aromas and tangy spice give the wine a soft and opulent first impression. But the firm tannins and bright acidity remind you of its deep Tuscan roots.”
93 Points Wine Enthusiast
“Blueberries with hints of hazelnut on the nose. Full body, with well-integrated tannins and citrus acidity. This is a lively and pretty wine in a style that I like. Savory too.”
93 Points James Suckling
“Fresh and lively, with a rich texture, showing cherry, plum and spice aromas and flavors. The tannins are present but not intrusive, with a mouthwatering, minerally finish. Best from 2016 through 2029.”
90 Points Wine Spectator
Il Nero di Casanova is intense ruby red in color and has scents of ripe berries, vanilla and coffee. It is full-bodied and densely rich, this magnificently structured Sangiovese is rounded with good grip and a fine finish. Ideal with grilled food, pasta and meat.
“The estate’s 2008 Il Nero di Casanova (Sangiovese) presents an intriguing profile of dark cherries, leather, licorice and tobacco, all of which come together in a medium-bodied, relatively delicate frame that is typical of Sangiovese. The Nero shows lovely inner sweetness and perfume through to the long finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.”
90 Points The Wine Advocate
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Rosso di Montalcino ROSSO DI MONTALCINO DOC
The Grape varietal of this wine is 100% Sangiovese Grosso; is fermented and refined in stainless steel and glass concrete vats with temperature controlled through cooling plates and jackets and is aged roughly 12 months in 20-85 Hl Slavonian oak barrels.
Rosso di Montalcino fruit-forward, spicy and floral. Red berry fruits notes are enriched by slight floral and spicy hints.Warm, soft on the palate with great structure and round tannins.