|~ Casanova di Neri ~|
If you spend 5 minutes with Giacomo Neri, his theory about wine will become clear to you.
“Our vineyards, their quality.”
It’s hard to argue the logic. Every winemaker, estate manager, or agronomist I have spoken to have told me that wine is made in the vineyard. It’s farming. You can augment wine in the cellar, “season” it like you would fine food, but the ingredients are derived from the vineyard. Good grapes can easily be screwed up in the cellar, but bad grapes cannot be made good with any tool at a winemaker’s disposal.
|~ Cellars at Casanova di Neri ~|
Casanova di Neri was founded in 1971 by Patriarch Giovanni Neri who purchased the vineyard that was to become Cerretalto and released his first Brunello in 1981. Small vineyard parcels were acquired in succession and today the estate is 500 hectares, with just over 63 devoted to wine. In 1991, Giacomo Neri took the reins of the estate.
Casanova di Neri’s wine production is derived from 7 individual vineyards which have their own unique characteristics and exposition. Some, such as Pietradonice, are suited to production of Cabernet for the estate’s Super Tuscan. The estate’s highest vineyard, Podernuovo, contributes much of the fruit for today’s subject wine.
|~ Vineyards at Casanova di Neri ~|
The 2006 Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova is one of the benchmarks of the estate. Only produced in exceptional vintages, the wine is produced from hand selected Sangiovese Grosso grapes and fermented on native yeasts for 4 weeks in large, open topped oak conical vats. Aging takes place in oak barrique for 30 months and is then followed by 18 months in bottle prior to release.
The 2006 is still a monster. We decanted the wine at home about 45 minutes before taking it to a local trattoria. A fairly large, but fine sediment was removed. In the glass, the wine is a deep cherry red; almost garnet in color. Youthful looking. The aromas from the wine are delicate and lovely. Dried flowers, dried herbs, chestnut and cherry compote present themselves seamlessly. On the palate, the wine is currently a bit restrained. Perhaps I should have read my own review on the 2004 and heeded my own advice. C’est la vie!
The ripeness of the cherry fruit is obvious and the lurking complexity, sandalwood, chestnut, tobacco, seems as though it’s aching to scream, but can’t get nature’s hand off it’s mouth. It’s coming. I’m confident of that, but it’s not there yet. The tannins are substantial and finely woven. Without food, the wine was distinctly chewy. With braised short ribs and NY strip with gorgonzola, this blossomed more and offered a glimpse of the future. I’m confident, but readers need to be patient here. 91 points today. I’ll be honestly shocked if it doesn’t pass 95+ in 2-3 years. Close the cellar door.
|~ The 2006 Tenuta Nuova is a brooding monster that needs additional cellar time ~|
November 16, 2016