Last week I was visited by a wine-maker from the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. Honestly, I didn’t think I could expand our Chianti portfolio but the wine rep promised breakfast and who can refuse such an offer. What happened to the breakfast I have no idea but fortunately I was introduced to the wines of Rocca di Castagnoli. And dare I say it they were better than what might have passed as breakfast!
Castagnoli has to be one of the oldest Tuscan vineyards in existence. Multiple families have owned it since the early 1200s but they have all been famous and they have all added to the estates greatness. Today the ‘estate’ runs 7 ½ miles long by almost 4 miles wide. It is nestled alongside parallel hills and the vineyards span the mountainside on both side. I can only imagine the beauty and when told that they had a rather beautiful Agrotourismo, with a swimming pool, it won’t be long before I pay them a visit.
I should also mention here that we have more brokers trying to sell us Italian wine than any other region in the world. Within that classification 80% of the wine they taste us on is either Tuscan or Piedmontese. Personally I like them both, but having to taste 30-40 of them every week one becomes a little jaded and a little, perhaps, cavalier. Only greatness will do.
The first Castagnoli I tasted was OK. It wasn’t from the region of Chianti Classico – just a little south-east, so maybe I felt that if there was a reason not to like it, that was it. But the second wine I tasted was absolutely from Chianti Classico. It was delicious. Stuff the breakfast, Macdonald’s was out the door with this stuff. It was full bodied, round, supple, energizing – probably had more vitamin C than a whole bottle of Tropicana. Terrific length on the palate, a warm, inviting freshness that had a ‘come hither’ forwardness to it. You tasted and wanted another full glass.
Second wine on the roster was the Rocca di Castagnoli Buriano. This is where you have to understand that Tuscan wine isn’t all about Sangiovese. There are laws within Tuscany that allow wine-makers to go beyond the confines of a Chianti and broaden their consumer’s experience by delivering other varietals, albeit at higher levels than you would ever expect. The Buriano is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Get this: it is aged in stainless steel for 6 months, disgorged into 2 types of aged barrique barrels for 18 months, and then disgorged again into bottle for a further 12 months. Only then is it tasted, and if approved, sold to the public. 1,250 cases make it into the world. That’s what I call breakfast!
Next was the Castagnoli Stielle Gran Selezione. I did ask what makes a wine a Gran Selezione and I did get an answer, but truth be told I was savoring the wine more than listening so I have no idea why it’s called Gran Selezione. I don’t think it really matters, to be honest. The wine was fabulous. A blend of the Cabernet above and a little Sangiovese, if anything this wine was a little rounder, more flamboyant, but more Sasha Distel than Valentino Liberace. The wine was truly an elixir – to be savored not gulped, to be cellared more than just brought out because you haven’t got anything else. This was a fabulous wine and the perfect finish to a breakfast that never was.
I would love you to try each of them so here’s the skinny on this week’s deal:
Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti Classico $21.00
Rocca di Castagnoli Buriano $49.00
Rocca di Castaglnoli Gran Selezione $49.00
This week’s deal:
One Three Pack, containing one each of the above: $102.00
I think that’s a huge saving.
Limited supply so as always…first come gets the worm.
Check out an earlier blog at the new wineatfive.com web site…awesome