Now that everyone in Italy is jumping on the native variety bandwagon, credit ought to be given to original owner Raffaele Rossetti and his winemaker, Simone Mongiatti, for having believed in them from the start. And it's food for thought that three of the very best wines in Chianti (Ama's Bellavista, Castellare's Sodi di S. Niccolo and this estate's Solare) contain malvasia nera as the complement to sangiovese. Capannelle's is quintessential traditional Chianti: high in acidity; characterized by flavors of tart red fruits; rich despite being relatively low in alcohol; and released a year later than most, spending as much as 16 months apiece in barrel and bottle.

2001 Capannelle Chianti Classico Riserva

($44) Bright medium ruby. Begins with a s lightly reduced aroma of strawberry, then opens up to show bright red cherry, dried flowers and baking spices. Offers primary but pliant flavors of cherry and raspberry, with very typical firm sangiovese tannins and fresh, clean acidity. Finishes long and bright, with mouthcoating fruit and superb vinosity.


2001 Capannelle Solare Toscana Rosso

($93; a sangiovese/malvasia nera blend) Saturated medium-dark ruby. Juicy, lean and a bit youthfully tight, with varietally accurate flavors of redcurrant, raspberry and violet given further lift by mint and mineral notes. Elegant and admirably restrained, conveying an impression of brisk acidity, yet with a sweet core of fruit underneath and extremely refined, vibrant tannins. Finishes long and pure, with a pretty floral character.


2000 Capannelle Solare Toscana Rosso

($93; a sangiovese/malvasia nera blend) Saturated dark ruby. Pure floral aromas of cherry and currant, with faint licorice and peach pit (the malvasia nera) in the background. Juicy and penetrating yet creamier and sweeter in the mid-palate than the more austere '01, this boasts impeccable balance throughout. Nicely structured and long on the aftertaste. (Note that the 50 & 50, a sangiovese/merlot blend, is made in tandem with Avignonesi and is described under that estate.) (Empson U.S.A., Alexandria, VA)

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