~ San Gimignano as seen from Campochiarenti ~

Vin Santo,  the Saint’s Wine.   Golden and aristocratic,  winemaker Daniele Rosti once told me that most Tuscans make Vin Santo because it is considered the minimum that someone should offer guests who stop by on Sunday afternoons.  

For me,  after a long, relaxing meal,  the best dessert is a simple glass of Vin Santo and a few biscotti for dunking.  One without the other, is incomplete. 

~ The Chapel at Campochiarenti ~

Recently, I opened a bottle of the 1996 Campochiarenti Vin Santo to sip leisurely on of course, a Sunday afternoon.  In the glass, the wine was a clear, medium gold color – almost like thinned honey. 

The aromatics on the wine are simply amazing. Vin Santo always charms me, but the complexity here at almost 19 years of age is astounding.  There’s loads of honey, clove, allspice, flowers, caramel, caramelized sugar and flowers working in harmony.  

On the palate, the wine is medium bodied with pretty flavors of orange peel, honey, baking spices, almonds and golden raisin.  The acidity leaves your palate refreshed and the wine is well balanced though I’d actually prefer a bit more sweetness in the wine.  Why? Because along with the almond biscotti, the wine seemed a bit leaner in body than it did on its own.   Still, if you’re a Vin Santo lover, this is a wonderful value.  88 points, about 20 Euro available from the winery.  

~ Vin Santo is made from Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes that are left to dry, by law, until at least December 1st after the harvest before the grapes are pressed.  Aging takes place in small oak barrels called “Caratelli” and Campochiarenti ages their Vin Santo for up to 8 years prior to release ~


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