Daniele Rosti makes wonderful wines. I could stop there, but then you’d only know half the story and likely not understand what drives this talented winemaker’s focus. He could be satisfied producing excellent Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Chianti Colli Senesi, but his passion for his territory drives this artisan to craft limited edition wines of compelling character. As a result, Vitiarium was born!
Although it seems like ages ago, it was only last June that I turned my dust covered A3 up the winding road that leads to Campochiarenti. The sun was setting over San Gimiganano and I was looking forward to seeing what was new with Daniele. As I pulled onto the driveway, he came bounding from the giardino with arms outstretched. “Ecco Giovanni”…. I was home.
That evening, we sat in the garden and tasted through some of the newest releases from Campochiarenti. The first was the Vitiarium which you see at left in the picture below. At the time, this was a barrel sample sporting nothing more than a provisional sticker for identification. Like the rest of the lineup pictured, it made an immediate impression.
After a relaxing dinner at Fattoria Cinciano, Daniele and I decided to close the evening and return to the Vitiarium. Latin for “vines selected from the estate”, Vitiarium was aged for 11 years in stainless steel and large oak cask before being bottled. The wine is predominantly Sangiovese, but there are small percentages of native Tuscan varietals in the blend.
The 2008 Campochiarenti Vitiarium showcases the best attributes of the 2008 vintage. In the glass, the wine is a brilliant deep ruby color with violet reflections. It looks incredibly youthful for a wine approaching 12 years of age. On the nose, Vitiarium is perfumed with dark cherries, fresh flowers, cocoa powder and Tuscan herbs.
On the palate, the flavors echo the nose with dark chocolate, black cherries and dried herb flavors that are long and persistent. The acidity keeps the wine very fresh even as the texture is smooth and polished. This is a special wine of character, complexity and meditation. It reminds me of the Gian Ambrogio Rosti, although I think this may be even better. I look forward to watching this wine evolve. 95 points. Find this wine.
As with many of Campochiarenti’s wines, Vitiarium is available direct from the winery.