Friends. I often think that’s been one of wine’s greatest gifts to me. Whether its the vast majority of new people that have become part of my life or a renewal with friends aboard, wine enriches life.
Today, I’m revisiting wonderful wines made by two friends; Silvia Vannucci and Daniele Rosti. Let’s get started.
While driving through Tuscany you’re confronted with postcard like vistas at every turn. Whether it’s olive groves, cypress trees, picturesque vineyards or woods, the sights lure you with their bucolic grandeur. But in a sense, Carmignano doesn’t fit this description.
Carmignano is unique. Many of the estates are seemingly shoe-horned into places where you’d never expect to find a vineyard. It’s the smallest DOCG in Italy encompassing only 250 acres. Piaggia owns 37 of those 250 acres; the majority of which were purchased by Silvia’s Father in the 1970s.
The 2015 Piaggia Carmignano “Il Sasso” is a deep garnet color in the glass. It has evolved so wonderfully over the few years it’s been in my cellar. Deep aromas of black plum, leather and wonderful tobacco notes mark the nose of the wine. On the palate, the wine has integrated so well. Plush, velvety flavors of black fruits marked with minerally stone, sweet tobacco and toasted spices are so attractive. “Il Sasso” loosely translates to “the stone or stoney” – a nod to the rocky road one must traverse when entering the vineyard. The 2015 is not the current release but is still available in the market. I’d also look for the 2016 but Piaggia is so consistently excellent, that I’ve no trouble recommending Silvia’s wines. 93 points. About $22. Find this wine.
Recently we had a spate of unseasonably warm Spring weather. 30-40 degree swings in temperature between day/night has not been out of the question. It had me reaching for an old friend indeed!
The 2019 Campochiarenti Vernaccia di San Gimignano is delicious and versatile. I first reviewed this wine last Summer during my TuscanSnips series and it was remarkable. It has changed a bit since then which is not surprising. And that brings me to a tangent. Do you decant white wine? And, do you serve it at the proper temperature? Addressing these two issues with a fine white I think is important. When I first opened this Vernaccia, it was too cold. I was impatient. Not surprisingly, the wine was “hard” and linear. Not what I knew it to be. After about 20 minutes it reached the proper temperature and was really delicious. On decanting, I typically don’t with whites. However, this wine blossomed considerably with air. The only caution I’d throw out there is be sure it’s at temperature in the decanter.
Deep golden color in the glass, this starts out on the nose with honey blossom, orange peel, white peach and apricot aromas. It’s so enticing. With air, white flowers join the mix. On the palate, the wine is full bodied and viscous but lively. Fresh and precise with lasers of tropical fruit, lemon zest and flinty, stony minerals this has persistence and length. I will state again, as I did last Summer, I think this is the best Vernaccia Daniele has ever made. I would loved to have tasted the 2009 when it was this young. I am very excited to watch this one evolve.
95 points, great value. Find this wine.
There are plenty of new wines entering the pipeline from Campochiarenti; including some under his partnership with Erich Russell, Passione Divina. I will be visiting Daniele this October and will bring you all the action!