~ Gioia Cresti – Owner Carpineta Fontalpino ~

New release Chianti’s are beginning to arrive in the US, including the amazing 2009 Riservas and some late release 2010 Classicos.  This new series of sort brings them to you in rapid succession. 

The first is the 2009 Carpineta Fontalpino Chianti Classico Riserva.

Proprietor Gioia Cresti is building a successful career as a consulting agronomist, but still finds time to make wine on her family’s 217-acre estate, located just outside the Chianti Classico zone near Castelnuovo Berardenga, about 10 miles east of Siena.

Carpineta Fontalpino has been in Cresti’s family since the 1960s. Gioia, who is just 39, took over the estate with her brother Filippo, 45, in 1990 and immediately set about replanting 44 acres of vineyards. She is currently producing some of the most exciting wines in Tuscany.

Says Cresti,  “We aimed for the highest quality possible right from the start,  but we had to wait for our young vines to mature to see the real results. These are coming online now, and the quality is right where I want it.”

Cresti started experimenting with new Sangiovese clones in 2000. The vines produce loosely packed bunches with relatively few grapes per cluster instead of the typical tight bunches where each grape hugs its neighbor.

As Cresti explains,  “There’s less potential for disease and rot as well as allowing more even ripening. They may look a bit odd, she adds with a smile, but I’ve found that the uglier the bunch, the better the wine it produces!”


~ Slow Roasted Lamb Shank over Mushroom Risotto ~

 If the current wine is any indication, Cresti’s vision is being realized.  This 2009 Riserva is a dark vibrant crimson. The aroma of the wine is effusive with fresh floral notes, tobacco, crushed raspberry and espresso bean. On the palate, the wine is fresh and vibrant. Full bodied, with a massive core of ripe wild berry fruit, spicy fennel, and dusty earth notes. The balance is masterfully achieved and the acids provide all the lift needed to keep this wine fresh. It was an absolute ethereal pairing with slow roasted lamb shank over mushroom risotto.  93 points, about $28. 

~ 2009 Fontalpino Chianti Classico Riserva ~

 One to find……

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