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Canalicchio di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino 1997

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    The color of Canalicchio Rosso is brilliantly youthful with its sparkling ruby hues. Its strong suit is a fresh fruitiness that envelops the palate. A silky authority evincing dark berried high notes with lingering hints of black cherries, cocoa powder and cedar make the wine agreeable and soft to the taste with a finish which beckons re-tasting.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Canalicchio di Sopra

    Canalicchio di Sopra

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    Canalicchio di Sopra, Tuscany, Italy
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    In 1962 Primo Pacenti, a lover of the land with a knowledge of its products, founded Azienda Agricola Canalicchio di Sopra. Situated in the northern side of the Municipality of Montalcino and in the middle of the tourist itinerary of Val d’Orcia, the farm extends for about 60 ha, 15 of which are cultivated with vines and 2 with olive groves.

    Three generations live here side by side with the common aim of producing quality wines: the generation of the grandfather, Primo Pacenti, who founded the farm and managed it until the 1990's, as well as participating actively in the social life of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino; that of the father, Pier Luigi Ripaccioli, who with the grandfather has undertaken to increase the quality by proposing careful and meticulous work; that of the grandchildren, Simonetta, Marco and Francesco who joined the management in 2001, bringing with them new ideas and new technologies always in respect of ancient methods and customs.

    The vines grow in two of the zones with the highest vine growing and wine making vocations in Montalcino: Canalicchio di Sopra and Le Gode di Montosoli. The different exposure and the geological differences of the soils produce different Sangiovese grapes where balance and power compensate one another in the wine cellar through the patient work which always seeks the best blend of tradition and innovation.

    One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind.

    Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, perfect for Sangiovese as it ripens most efficiently on slopes with maximum exposure to sunlight.

    Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, the island of Elba and more inland, in Carmignano.

    Sangiovese

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    The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

    In the Glass

    Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

    Perfect Pairings

    Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

    Sommelier Secret

    Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

    CLW107625_1997 Item# 28415