“Producing wine is a peasant art, made up of patience and foresight of imagining the vineyard before planting the young vines and preparing for them a welcoming place, one where they will feel at home and live for many years, accompanied by the love, the care, and the patience of a special person: the grower-producer.” …… Padrone Vittorio Fiore
Podere Poggio Scalette came to be in 1991 when noted wine consultant Vittorio Fiore and his wife Adriana acquired several plots of land in Ruffoli, part of the commune of Greve. The vineyards lie on terraced slopes, called “Il Carbonaione” by the local peasants, and were among the first vineyards planted immediately after World War I. Today, at over 80 years of age, they are producing incredible grapes with wonderful intensity and character. The estate is run by Adriana and her son Jurij, while Vittorio casts only a watchful eye for oversight.
Il Carbonaione is often one of the darkest pure Sangiovese wines I see. I once asked Vittorio how he extracts such depth of color from Sangiovese.
“It is really rooted in embracing a new methodology. Year ago, Sangiovese was mostly vinified in cement tanks which made it impossible to obtain the optimal color extraction and tannins from the skins of the red grapes. One of the things I did was introduce larger diameter tanks and automated methods to move the skins gently around during fermentation. Sangiovese is very different from Cabernet or Merlot because it’s more difficult to extract tannin and color. Aging in new barriques results in a deeper color. If you put the same wine in barrique and stainless steel, after only six months you won’t recognize that they started exactly the same.”
The 2016 Il Carbonaione is especially dark indeed. Since I was not too worried about sediment, I double decanted the wine and took it to a local Trattoria. Perfumed aromatics of fresh flowers, crushed wild berry, hint of vanilla and a touch of mint are very attractive. On the palate, the wine is polished and refined in an almost understated way. It’s not the bold, ripe, rich monster its 2015 sibling is. That’s not a complaint as much as an observation but this is a more restrained style at the moment. 93 points. Good value around $45. Find this wine.
Salute and happy hunting!