|~ Podere il Carnasciale in Valdarano, Tuscany ~|
In the province of Arezzo, in the Valdarno, about 60 kilometers south of Florence, sits the tiny, unique estate of Podere il Carnasciale. Founded by Wolf Rogosky in the early 1960s, it wasn’t until an inspirational meeting with Vittorio Fiore in the 1980’s that spurred Rogosky to produce his own great wine. Today, the estate is run by his wife Bettina and son Moritz who continue this unique journey.
Why is Podere il Carnasciale unique? It all comes down to one word: Caberlot. I can already hear the chorus and feel the disturbance in the air as hands wave… “What is Caberlot?” In the late 1960’s, this “biotype” grape was discovered in a vineyard near Padua. The odd looking loose clusters were analyzed and identified by agronomist Dr. Bordini who determined they were a natural crossing of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Caberlot is genetically closer to the Vitis Vinifera Merlot, but shares more of the organoleptic qualities of Cabernet Franc. It is truly unique.
At the recent Slow Wine event last month, I caught up with Moritz Rogosky to chat and taste. An engaging and amiable man, he was generous with his time and proud of his wine. The tastings easily confirm his pride, because the wines were both excellent.
|~ Proprietor Moritz Rogosky ~|
The Podere il Carnasciale estate is very small. Originally only 1/3 of a hectare, in 1999 vineyard expansion pushed the estate to over 2 1/4 hectares. In some spots, vine density is almost 11,000 plants per hectare. As such, the vines dig deep into the ground searching for nutrients. The resulting struggle to survive delivers intensely flavorful grapes.
2013 Carnasciale – This wine is made from younger vines planted in 2000 and uses fruit not yet destined for the flagship “Il Caberlot”. Deep purple in the glass, the wine is a sexy, modern expression of Caberlot. It’s got ripe aromas of crushed black fruit, blue flowers, lavendar and spices. On the palate, the flavors follow the nose with a toasty French barrique frame and a touch of espresso bean. Polished, with integrated tannins and balanced acidity. It’s as lovely as it is unique. 91 points.
2012 Il Caberlot – This is the flagship wine made from the estate’s oldest vines. Deeper in color than the previous wine, curiously this wine is only bottled in magnum. Moritz explained to me that his Father was insistent upon Caberlots ability to age well and to age even better in large formats. Therefore, he insisted on bottle this way and Bettina and Moritz continue this practice. Ripe, with a wonderful texture, this suave, polished wine exudes aromas and flavors of blackberry, vanilla, flowers, toast, and pepper. It’s long and teeth staining extracted! Still young with some chewy tannins and plenty of acid to allow for extended aging, especially in this format. Excellent. 94 points about $240 per magnum.
|~ The wines of Podere il Carnasciale ~|
March 17, 2016