Decanter’s “Most Exciting New Italian Wine”
Called “one of the most exciting new Italian wine projects of the moment,” by Decanter, Tenuta di Ceppaiano offers this lush, coastal Super Tuscan red at a smashing $17 value price.
Located on the banks of the Arno River, it is among the six estates owned by Tuscany’s brilliant wine impresario Piergiorgio Castellani. A joint venture between Castellani and the British wine savant Simon Farr, the winery was founded to take advantage of the incredible terroir lying at the extreme western edge of Chianti. The hot, low-yield 2012 vintage made for Ceppaiano’s finest release yet, earning 93 points from James Suckling. An ace-in-the-hole for lovers of ripe Super Tuscan reds, it’s drinking beautifully right now. At $17, it’s a must-have bottle that channels the power of Cabernet Sauvignon with the spice of Sangiovese in a full-bodied, cherry-scented, and dynamic red.
Blending a passion for the latest thinking in viticulture with old-school Italian charisma, Piergiorgio Castellani has become a star of Tuscan winemaking.
He owns six wineries including the Castellani estate, run by his family for over a century. But one of his newer acquisitions, Tenuta di Ceppaiano, is becoming a darling of critics and collectors in its own right, offering authentic Italian reds at superb values.
The Tuscan estate covers a little under 100 acres on the foothills of the right bank of the Arno River, planted primarily to Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Soils are sandy and chalky, and flecked with alluvial river pebbles, which invest the wines with mineral complexity. The breezy, marine influence of the Tyrrhenian Coast, in combination with the generous Mediterranean sun, enriches grapes with vibrant acidity and silky tannins.
In the intensely warm, dry 2012 vintage—which made for wines of “lovely radiance” says Vinous—yields were down 30 percent in some parts of Chianti, yielding tiny berries packed with bright red fruit concentration. Under winemaker Sabino Russo, grapes at Tenuta di Ceppaiano were hand-picked, soft-pressed, and saw prolonged maceration on the skins. Praising the release as “velvety and flavorful,” James Suckling pinned on 93 points, solidifying this coastal red as one of the vintage’s most covetable Super Tuscan values.