“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.” ….Vittorio Fiore
Podere Poggio Scalette became an autonomous wine-producing estate in 1991 when noted wine consultant Vittorio Fiore and his wife Adriana Assjè di Marcorà acquired several plots of land and a rural building on the hill of Ruffoli, in 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 intensity and character.
The estate is run by Adriana and her son Jurij, while Vittorio casts only a watchful eye for oversight.
Today we’re looking at one of the estate’s newest wines; one which has been produced only 7 times since it’s creation in 2007. Translated literally, Capogatto might be understood to mean the Head Cat, or figuratively “The Boss”. However, it’s actually a colloquial dialect term that refers to a method of training the vines in the vineyard. A process today that is technically referred to as layering.
Capogatto comes from the Volpe Vineyard on the Poggio Scalette estate which sits at 1,800 feet above sea level and stretches for little more than 1 acre. The wine is vinified in concrete vats and then spends 18 months in French barrique before being aged in the bottle an additional 6 months before release.
The 2012 Capogatto is reminiscent of the 2012 vintage in central Tuscany. Generally a cooler year with some scattered spotty weather patterns, many of the 2012’s I’ve tasted have been tight, firmly structured and austere wines. It’s not my favorite vintage in the company of more recent 2010 and 2011 releases.
Capogatto is an equal blend of Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. On the nose, the wine exhibits notes of black plum, mineral and fresh green herbs. Restrained on the palate, even after decanting almost 2 hours, the flavors center around black plum, sage and menthol. Medium bodied, with balanced acidity and tannins that are firm but not at all intrusive, I’d suggest cellaring this to see what becomes of it. Similar to the 2010 Carbonaione , which I suggested burying in your cellar, the pedigree of this wine makes me think it’ll express itself more jubilantly in the future. 88 points, but with some reservation. Disclosure: This wine was an importer provided sample.
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