Malcolm Jolley talks to Count Sebastiano Capponi about Villa Calcinaia and Chianti Classico.

Nicholas Pearce and Sebastiano Capponi of Calcinaia at the Chianti Classico show.

Sebstiano Capponi may be the Count at his family’s estate in Tuscany, Villa Calcinaia, but he’s also the winemaker for the house’s Chianti Classico wines and passionate advocate for the DOCG region. I met Sebastiano Capponi twice this week, with Villa Calcinaia’s Ontario agent, Nicholas Pearce, first at the Chianti Classico trade show on Monday, and again on Tuesday when we met for lunch and shot the video interview below.

In each case we tasted through the classic Chianti Classico progression of wines from the 2014 vintage, all made from grapes grown on the estate, beginning with the Annata, Chianti Classico DOCG Villa Calcinaia (19,000 bottles produced), the Riserva (8,300 bottles produced), and the Gran Selezione Vigna Bastignano (2,800 bottles produced), made from a single vineyard. There is more information on the wines below, and in the second half of the video interview, Capponi describes how they are made in detail. Each wine was a progression from the bright and straight forward red fruit notes of the Annata (or plain ‘Classico’), to the increasing lushness of the Riserva and ending with the more textured and complex Gran Selezione.

Sebastino Capponi is also currently the Vice-President of the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, and since his family can trace their lineage in the region back to 1524, is well versed in the history, both ancient and modern, of the region and winemaking in it. In the first part of the video below, he discusses this and why Chianti Classico considers itself to be the true Chianti, and the ways that production has improved to focus on quality over the years.

Can’t see the video? Please click here.

Full disclosure: Nicholas Pearce Wines is a Good Food Fighter sponsor of Good Food Revolution. These are the wines currently available in Ontario, with tasting notes and technical information supplied by Nicholas Pearce.

2014 – Villa Calcinaia – Chianti Classico DOCG – Gran Selezione La Bastignano
93 Pts James Suckling.
95 Pts Wine Align
Grape Variety : 100% Sangiovese. Vinification : Organically farmed. The marl soils of the Bastignano vineyard are planted with original estate Sangiovese clones situated on a series of stone terraces with South Eastern exposure. This unique site produces a distinctly soft and elegant style of Sangiovese. The hand harvested grapes undergo fermentation and 18 days of maceration followed by 30 months of aging in Slavonian oak. The wine is released after an additional six months in the bottle. Tasting note : Light aromas of red fruit, coffee, cocoa, toast and vanilla. Medium body, with great balance. An elegant, smooth wine, it is well structured with supple tannins, bright acid, and a long finish. *Available in 6 packs*  / ORDER NOW !
2014 – Villa Calcinaia – Chianti Classico DOCG – Gran Selezione Fornace
93 Pts Wine Align
Grape Variety :100% Sangiovese. Vinification  : Organically Farmed. The La Fornace vineyard was planted in 1975 by the Toti family who once sharecropped on the Villa Calcinaia estate. It is very close to the Greve river and therefore has sandier soils than other vineyards on the estate, though plenty of typical gray Calcinaia clay, still used to produce bricks, not only increases the complexity of the soil composition but also explains the reason for the name La Fornace (“The Furnace”). The hand harvested grapes undergo fermentation and 18 days of maceration in open 500 liter tonneaux followed by 24 months of aging in 5 liter tonneaux. Tasting Note : Lush cherry aromas mingle with flavors of spice, coffee and plum. Medium bodied and smooth with fluid tannins and a silky finish. *Available in 6 packs* / ORDER NOW !
2014 – Villa Calcinaia – Chianti Classico DOCG
91 Pts Wine Align
Grape Variety : 90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo. VinificationOrganic Farming. Hand Harvested. Maceration lasts 12-18 days, separated by vineyard block. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks for eight days at 84°F is followed by 20 months aging in wood casks (tonneaux and barrique) again separated by vineyard block. The different vineyard blocks are then blended in cement vats for another four months of aging. Tasting Notes Aromatic with bright red fruit, hints of dried leaves and toast. Supple and dry with round red fruit flavors, refreshing acidity and well integrated tannins. Food Pairing : Ideal with Mediterranean dishes, roasted meats and aged cheeses. ORDER NOW !
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