~ The Barricaia at Caprili – the family uses several different size vessels for producing their wines ~

Caprili is a small family winery located in the southern portion of the Montalcino zone.  Shepherded by family proprietor and 4th generation winemaker, Giacomo Bartolommei,  the estate produces an array of excellent wines.

I’ve known Giacomo for years.  It seems we always connect around a series of “firsts”.   Way back in the day, he was the first Winemaker Interview I conducted for Tuscan Vines.  (over a decade ago!)  Then, as the rigors of the pandemic ensued, Giacomo and I did the first of what would be many Zoom calls with winemakers.  You can still view that discussion.  So it seemed natural that he would be among the first properties we visited on the Rustic Tuscany Tour.


~ As Cypress trees go, this is one of the largest I’ve ever seen. It’s on the edge of the family vineyards as you walk around back to the crush pad ~

We met Giacomo outside the winery for a quick tour of the vineyards, some introductions and a brief history of the estate.  Despite having just come from an extended tour and lunch at Castello Banfi, the team soldiered on!


~ The sun was beginning to set upon our arrival and made for an amazing reddish glow to the dirt between the vine rows ~

I had last visited Caprili in 2019 not long after the new winery was completed.  I have to say, in four years time, the cell coverage and wifi in Montalcino is vastly improved.  See the previous link for that story. But nevertheless, this time we knew where we were going.

After seeing the crush pad and fermentation room, it was down into the cellars.


~ The family Library portion of the wine cellar. Giacomo was eagerly answering a variety of questions from the guests ~

A tasting was set up in a lovely spot for us just off the winery offices.  I didn’t take detailed notes, but simply jotted some basic impressions while adding some thoughts for my guests to ponder while tasting.


~ Tasting at Caprili ~


The first wine we tasted was the attractive 2022 Caprili Settimia.  The name Settimia is an homage to Giacomo’s great grandmother.  I’ve yet to come across a bad wine with such an omaggio and this was no different.  Settimia is 100% Vermentino from Caprili’s vineyard plot in Maremma.  It’s crisp, vibrant and flavorful with loads of tropical and citrus flavors that are backed by that slight kiss of salinity you often see from Maremma Vermentino.  It was very well received by the group and a few cases were purchased.

2022 Caprili Rosso di Montalcino –  The first red was very nice indeed.  If 2021 is the next great vintage for Rosso and Brunello,  then I don’t think 2022 is far behind.  There is plenty of juicy, fruity berries to this medium bodied rosso. Again, to me this is a Rosso that was deliberately made and not one that just arrived from declassified Brunello. These are the kind to seek out.  Persistent on the palate with a nice, fruity, anise tinged finish.  What a Montalcinese daily drinker should be.

2018 Caprili Brunello di Montalcino –  Yet another success in this underappreciated vintage.  Yes, there are stemmy and underripe 2018 Brunello.  I’ve had enough of them.  But the majority of the 2018s I’ve tasted, both for my Annual Coverage and during the Rustic Tuscany Tour, have been elegant, fresh and delicious to drink.  This is no different.  Juicy, elegant and lively, this Brunello has flavors of bright berry, toasted spices and soft fennel notes.  Like many others, it is not a blockbuster, but it’s not made to be.  It shows that the winemaker understood the vintage conditions and not only acted accordingly, but also successfully.


~ The areas bordering the vineyards at Caprili are some of the prettiest you’ll find. Roses, fruit trees, lavender, bee hives, gardenia, all combine to render a magical perfume in the air ~

2014 Caprili Brunello di Montalcino – I’ll admit, I was surprised when I saw this vintage written on the tasting sheet.  2014 was clearly the most difficult vintage since at least 2002 and most estates have long since cleared the vintage from their cellars.  But Giacomo insisted that we would be surprised.  I remembered back to when the vintage was first released.  Giacomo invited myself and Bruce Sanderson to dinner at Del Posto to catch up and premiere the vintage.  I was surprised then, and was also now.

The color looked a little advanced, but not too much.  The cherry fruit has turned to the drier side, but in a tough vintage, there was enough concentration.  There was enough acid to keep the wine fresh as well. It’s light to medium bodied and its best days are behind it, but it was still pleasant. Giacomo nodded as if to say, I told you. It’s stayed pretty nice, eh?  It has.

2018 Caprili Brunello Riserva –  Then Giacomo retreated to the cellar for a treat.  Although it was not eligible to be released until this January, he presented the 2018 Brunello Riserva.  Again, in a vintage like 2018, it was rare to even find many Riservas produced.  Witness the few I tasted at Benvenuto Brunello – many of which were underwhelming.

But here, Giacomo did an exemplary job.  The key is simple – he has an excellent vineyard that he uses for his Riserva (Vigna Madre) and he only makes it when the vintage delivers.  In 2018, he reduced yields and production.  The result was a fleshy wine.  A wine with noticeably more concentration the estate Brunello. Richer cherry with powdery textures and spicy tobacco leaf notes drive the wine.  My impression at Benvenuto was very similar; except I don’t recall this tasting seeming monolithic. Perhaps that’s an indication of the trip across the ocean impacting the wine.


~ This is the 2018 Riserva in the glass. You can see the array of colors from core to rim rather clearly. ~

With purchases done, the group got ready to pile into our vans and head back to the Agriturismo.  But first, there was one last treat from Mother Nature….


~ Sunset over Vigna Madre. Alla Prossima Giacomo! ~

There is plenty more to come from Rustic Tuscany 2023 so stay tuned….

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