Last month I profiled a wonderful day I spent with Silvia Vannucci, proprietor of her family estate in Carmignano, Piaggia. Over a casual, leisurely lunch we tasted through many of her latest wines which were still resting in stainless tanks. At the time, they were about a week away from being bottled. They were 2014s and were incredibly successful in that rough vintage. Timing was everything and Vannucci and her team made the right decisions.
Back in May, Piaggia had just bottled their entry level red wine only weeks before my arrival. While we didn’t have an opportunity to taste the wine that day, I was privileged to bring a bottle home with me. Given their location in Carmignano, most of Piaggia’s reds rely heavily on Cabernet despite the blending laws which include Sangiovese. However, they wanted to create a wine that mirrored the historical soul and heritage of Tuscany and beginning with the 2014 vintage, created Pietranera.
The 2016 Piaggia Pietranera is a 100% Sangiovese sourced from a single vineyard that lies just west of the Piaggia winery. With southwest exposure and soil that is heavy in galestro, the vineyard drains well and provides optimal conditions for growing Sangiovese.
In the glass, the wine is a deep violet color clear through. Wonderfully expressive nose of freshly crushed red fruits, raspberry preserves, fresh mountain herbs and notes of cocoa. On the palate, this recently bottled wine is juicy, fresh and lively with a lovely core of ripe red berries, sweet tobacco, and hints of vanilla. Balanced, with silky tannins and cleansing acidity. This may be an “entry level” wine by definition for Piaggia, but it certainly doesn’t behave that way. Tremendous value and a wine to keep watching. 91 points, about $24.
Pietranera is vinified in stainless steel and then racked to French barrique where it undergoes malolactic fermentation using natural yeast strains. After three months aging in barrel, it is bottled and left to rest a further 6 months before release.
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