The 2010 growing season — from Rioja to Tuscany, Piedmont to Burgundy, and perhaps most of all in Bordeaux — will go down as one of Europe’s most extraordinary vintages. Cool, dry, sunny days spoiled growers like rarely before, allowing late-maturing varieties extended hang-time. At harvest, sugars were nearly as high as they’d been in 2009 (a very hot year), but even more importantly, seeds browned perfectly, making for sumptuous tannins and some of the most age-worthy reds in memory.
Still, despite all the glory of 2010 in Tuscany, precious few under-$20 Riservas garnered 93-point scores from the world’s most respected Italian wine critic, Antonio Galloni. And just one of Galloni’s bargain 93-pointers would earn a similar 92-point rave from Wine Spectator
In 1967, nearly all the wines of Chianti Classico were unmarketable on world markets. One producer joked with us that during harvest, he instructed pickers to toss seeds as they clipped bunches because “wheat was more valuable than Sangiovese.” As is so often the case with entrepreneurial success stories, enologist Giovanni Carlo Sacchet and winemaker Antonio Mario Zaccheo chose the least opportune moment to purchase vineyard land in the heart of Greve in Chianti. They called their new estate “Carpineto.”
Recognizing that the challenges facing Tuscan winegrowers lay both in the vineyards and the cellar, little by little the partners tightened up their grape-growing protocol, replacing high-yielding old clones with the smaller-berry, more concentrated bunches provided by the new. Over time, they reinvested aggressively, building a state-of-the-art temperature controlled cellar, allowing them to extend vinifications without fear of oxidation, nursing out the red-fruit, floral beauty that’s Sangiovese’s calling card. Then Lady Luck paid the partners a visit in the form of a magnificent 156-acre estate perched at 1,000 feet above the Etruscan village of Gaville. With breathtaking views of the Arno River to the south, just 20 percent of the property would be planted to the Sangiovese that has given birth to Carpineto’s most powerfully structured and age-worthy reds — never more so than in the spectacular summer of 2010.
For those of you who have traveled to Tuscany and fallen in love with the wild-berry intensity and seductive aromatics of the region’s finest Riservas, but have recently grown tired of the $50-$100 price tags, the 2010 Carpineto Chianti Classico Riserva is a bargain-hunter’s dream.
If you don’t believe us, take it from Galloni and the Spectator!
Antonio Galloni, who has been frequenting Tuscany’s top cellars for over a decade, described “Black cherries, game, smoke, tobacco, licorice and leather … brooding in its expression of Sangiovese, the Riserva is all about power, density and structure.” Wine Spectator mimicked Galloni’s enthusiasm with a 92-point followup.
93 points from Galloni and 92 points from Wine Spectator, respectively. $27 elsewhere. Just $19.99 on today's direct import, right from the cellars in Tuscany to your door. Shipping included on 6.
This is balanced and full bodied and we can't wait to check it out again in a few years.
Outstanding value. Smooth anda bit sweeter than most chiantis. Served it to several guests at Christmas. Everyone really liked it-can't ask for more for an under $20/bottle wine.
Heavier than many Chianti Reseva, but good with red meat.
two and half stars
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