“One Vine, One Bottle of Wine.”
It’s a simple philosophy that the Pierazzuoli brothers follow and reflects their determination to produce wine of the utmost quality. About a year ago, I sat down with Enrico to taste his wines and conduct a brief interview. Today, we’re catching up again.
The Tenuta Cantagallo property has been in the Pierazzuoli family since 1970. Sitting between three and four hundred feet above sea level, the estate sprawls for 200 hectares including vineyards, forest and olive groves. Perched in the hills between Florence and Vinci, the vineyard surface covers a mere 30 hectares with vines aged between 10 and 35 years old.
The flagship wine of the Cantagallo (crowing rooster) property is the Il Fondatore Chianti Montalbano Riserva. Crafted from vines that are 25 years old, the wine is 100% Sangiovese from a single vineyard.
The 2017 Il Fondatore Chianti Montalbano Riserva is 100% Sangiovese. Beautiful deep ruby color. The lovely nose features deep cherry notes, leather, rosemary and earth. Medium bodied morello cherry flavors dominate and are joined by dusty clay and cake spices. The fruit is slightly shortened on the finish which turns a bit dry. Vinified in stainless steel and then aged 12 months in barrel and 12 months in bottle prior to release. Drink now and through 2026. 91 points. Find this wine.
I’ve written a lot about Carmignano on these pages, yet it remains one of the least known DOCG appellations in all of Italy. Part of this obscurity is due to it’s size; Carmignano is the smallest DOCG in Italy. With only 250 acres under vine, the majority of producers are very small and not broadly exported.
The Pierazzuoli Carmignano is a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet which is sourced from the estate’s oldest vineyards. The wine is vinified in stainless steel tanks before 12 months of barrique aging prior to release. Average production when the wine is released is about 7,000 bottles.
The Le Farnete Carmignano Riserva 2017 is a deep garnet color in the glass; no doubt the reflection of the Cabernet in the blend (20%). Big time fresh fennel, black plums and toasted spices on the nose. A hint of alcohol too but the nose is enticing. In the mouth, full on blackberry is backed by black cherry, toasted hazelnut, fennel and cured olives. Large framed in scale with tannins to match. This is behaving very much like a Cabernet at the moment. Give it time to settle down, though the 15% abv. gives me a bit of pause. Try within the next 3-5 years. 90 points.
I will close with a quote that stuck with me since the first time I interviewed Enrico. His passion is contagious and he is proud of his territory. In speaking of the family’s philosophy, Enrico told me: “We are a family who keeps its feet in the past, uses its hands to work in the present and its mind to produce quality for the future.”
The future is bright indeed! Salute.