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Carpineto Grandi Vini di Toscana

May 11, 2015

These notes came from a SMA Wine Chapter dinner at Gattopardo on 05 May 2015, featuring the wines of Carpineto Grandi Vini di Toscana with its proprietor Antonio Mario Zaccheo, who had founded this estate in 1967, in attendance. Carpineto prides itself in wine-making that expresses the terroir truthfully instead of trying to please the palates of wine judges, and I must admit to having a soft spot for this estate. Ric & Antonio ZaccheoWe began with the 2013 Carpineto Dagojolo Bianco, made from a blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and grechetto, grassy with notes of morning dew, white flowers and soft citrus, not too crisp, easy on the palate but suitably intense in the mid-body, its balanced acidity tapering towards a lasting finish. I found it refreshing without being too straightforward.

Once we’re seated at the table, the 2008 Carpineto Brunello di Montalcino was poured, made from 100% sangiovese aged 3 years in barrel. This wine was dark purple with an attractive earthy pungency on the nose that yielded a good concentration of ripe raspberries and wild berries with traces of enamel and camphor and a dash of forest floor, its tight velvety tannins gripping the palate with controlled intensity right through to its spicy finish. Predictably though, this Brunello is still very youthful and will, no doubt, develop very well by the end of this decade. Keep. Next up was a 1997 Carpineto Chianti Classico Riserva, poured from magnum, featuring sweet medicinal aromas with herbal overtones and leafy elements from the ripe fruit, stern in demeanour, evolving towards notes of tangerine and orange peel after a couple of hours, finishing with a dash of spice and sweet tannins. 20150505_202336[1]This would be drinking very well on its own but, paired with the powerful Brunello in this instance, it was somewhat underwhelming and four-square.

Next came the highly-anticipated highlight of this evening, the series of wines from the famous Vino Nobile di Montepulciano of this estate, led by a single vineyard bottling of the 2004 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Vigneto di Poggio Sant’ Enrico. Deep purple, this wine possessed a lovely complex bouquet that was highly aromatic, delivering a wine of immense concentration and fabulous intensity, structured and taut with a lovely tension on the palate, displaying excellent definition, linearity and wonderful length. Still remarkably youthful, worthy of many more years of patient cellaring. After this, the 2009 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva exhibited superb pungency with an abundance of redcurrants, darkcurrants and dark roses, naturally tight and intense at this stage but beautifully structured and long, promising plenty of potential for the long haul. The 1997 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva was dark and seamless, featuring a beautiful bouquet with black fruits of glorious depth and intensity, sparkling with spots of graphite, superbly structured. A wine of great length and power at its absolute peak, simply marvellous, earning my vote for Wine Of The Night. On the other hand, the 1988 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva was very open and mellow with a seductive beautiful glow that’s only possible from the Old World, its acidity and structure still intact although the fruit was somewhat uneven across the palate, suggesting that it has passed its peak. The evening concluded with a 1996 Carpineto Farnito Vinsanto del Chianti, lowish in acidity, almost port-like in texture with copious notes of cinnamon and peaches. Many thanks to the SMA Wine Chapter and to Ms Jo Hung of Oaks Cellars for making this evening possible.

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