~ Family Proprietor Silvia Vannucci ~

Along with Sagrantino di Montefalco, Carmignano may be the smallest DOCG zone of production in Italy, as there are approximately 250 acres to the entire area. Of these, about 37 belong to the estate of Piaggia. 
The Piaggia estate was created by Mauro Vannucci in the mid 1970’s and is located in the gently rolling Tuscan hills, just about 10 miles west of Florence. By law, Carmignano can be blended with Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot and was the first Italian DOCG to allow such foreign grapes into the blend – way before the first “Super Tuscans” made such blends fashionable.
I’ve reported on the “Il Sasso” Carmignano of Piaggia a few times on these pages and spent a lovely afternoon interviewing proprietor Silvia Vannucci and her winemaker, Emiliano Falsini.  However, this the first time I’ve had the pleasure of tasting their Signature Red – it singularly bears the estate name “Piaggia Riserva”.

~ Panoramic view of the “Il Sasso” Vineyard on the Piaggia Estate ~
The first Carmignano I tasted from Piaggia was their 2008 “Il Sasso”.  Now, just recently released, is the 2008 Piaggia Riserva.  This wine is singularly created from the oldest vineyard on the Piaggia estate and receives the strictest selection of grapes.  Aged for 18 months in French oak and then bottled unfined and unfiltered, the result is an elegant, classy wine with lots of soul.  
The wine is a dark vibrant violet with purple reflections.  On the nose the wine displays pure vibrant aromas of wild berries, plums, flowers and fresh herbs.  In the mouth, the wine displays a richness to the fruit and a concentration to the flavors that I’ve not seen in a 2008 vintage wine.  Central is gorgeous core of deep red berry and plum fruit accented with Christmas spices, new velvety leather, a touch of anise and long lingering dusty minerals on the finish.  It is delicious.  The balance between the acids and tannins is deftly managed and there’s more grip here than many 2008’s I’ve tasted. This is elegance combined with power and for the price of this wine, quite the value.  The 2008 is 70% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc, and 10% Merlot.  Super.  93 points. $29. 
~ Single Vineyard Riserva from Piaggia ~ 

Buon Natale!

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