It was December 2013 and I was meandering around the halls at the Gambero Rosso Tuscany Red & White tasting when I came upon a gentleman named Daniele Rosti, the owner and winemaker of Campochiarenti. Daniele is a talented and passionate winemaker and insists on crafting wines with a sense of place; wines that are made by the vineyard not artificially crafted in the cellar. Although his focus is split between producing Vernaccia and Chianti Colli Senesi, his exacting standards remain laser focused. Many people would scoff at the notion of aging Vernaccia. However, back in 2013 Daniele introduced me to his 2009 to illustrate how well his wines could age. I’ve been buying it ever since.
Over the weekend, I opened a bottle of the very same 2009 Campochiarenti Vernaccia di San Gimignano and frankly, did not plan on writing about it because I’ve covered this vintage before. However, it simply blew me away. Can Vernaccia be great? This one is!
In the glass, this crystal clear wine is a medium to deep golden color. It’s always smelled of the sea from the day I first put nose to glass, but everything was amplified here. Redolent nose of white flowers, pineapple, white peaches and lemon wax. Added complexity comes from the oyster and clam shells strewn through the soil in Campochiarenti’s vineyards. Aromas of sea air and minerals carry through on the palate where a backbone of shaley salinity is joined by ripe, almost full bodied tropical fruit flavors. Refreshing acidity keeps this so lively. Lemon grass, stone fruit and pineapple flavors also join in, but the underlying current is the maritime tones. Simply an outstanding wine. 92 points. Find this wine.