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Capannelle Chianti Classico Riserva 2003

  • RP92
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Deep ruby red with purplish reflections. The bouquet jumps out of the glass and shows toast, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, red fruits. Long and persistent with intensity, develops slowly into moss, brushwood, iris, juniper and a little of wild fennel. In mouth it is a little astringent, warm, structured, fresh, tannins. Taste of iris, undergrown, musk mixed with vanilla.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Capanelle's 2003 Chianti Classico Riserva is a powerful, enveloping wine loaded with the essence of sweet red cherries, menthol, smoke and tar. The wine possesses compelling inner sweetness and vibrancy, yet today those qualities are trapped behind a wall of massive tannins that will require a few years in bottle to settle down. This remains a vibrant, perfumed Chianti with a very promising future. Capanelle’s Chianti Classico Riserva is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Colorino and Canaiolo. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.
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Capannelle, Italy
Capannelle was established in 1974 Raffaele Rossetti, who pioneered stainless steel in the winery, 1-kilo-per-vine crops, new French barriques and French oak fermentation vats when these were all highly futuristic concepts. For many years, the 17th-century estate and avant-garde winery remained an Italian secret: though discovered by young Neil Empson in 1976, Raffaele opted for focusing on the national market only, which the tiny (at the time) production barely covered. Then in 1997, the property was purchased by high-profile U.S. magnate James Sherwood, who maintained Rossetti as consultant but gradually paved the way towards increasing acreage, production and marketing goals.

No expense has been spared to outdo the most state-of-the-art criteria: from the underground winery itself (1,000 square meters - nearly 10,800 square feet - of shock-proof ceramic tiles, to the subterranean barrique cellar, built in the year 2000 - 40 meters long (over 130 feet), 3 meters (almost 10 feet) below ground level, dug into the natural rock.

Yet for all these futuristic aspects, the Capannelle building itself is a characteristic chiantigiana stonehouse villa on one of the appellation's gentle hilltops, overlooking Gaiole on one side, vines and woodland on the other. In other words: classic and timeless. The range itself, styled by oenologist Simone Monciatti, is fortunately as rooted in this 17th-century terrain and millenary tradition as in the most modern quality standards. Its hallmark is elegance: the concentration and extract of low-crop noble varieties are complemented by a nose of great finesse and complexity.

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Chianti Classico

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One of the first wine regions anywhere to be officially recognized and delimited, Chianti Classico is today what was originally defined simply as Chianti. Already identified by the early 18th century as a superior zone, the official name of Chianti was proclaimed upon the area surrounding the townships of Castellina, Radda and Gaiole, just north of Siena, by Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany in an official decree in 1716.

However, by the 1930s the Italian government had appended this historic zone with additonal land in order to capitalize on the Chianti name. It wasn’t until 1996 that Chianti Classico became autonomous once again when the government granted a separate DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) to its borders. Ever since, Chianti Classico considers itself no longer a subzone of Chianti.

Many Classicos are today made of 100% Sangiovese but can include up to 20% of other approved varieties grown within the Classico borders. The best Classicos will have a bright acidity, supple tannins and be full-bodied with plenty of ripe fruit (plums, black cherry, blackberry). Also common among the best Classicos are expressive notes of cedar, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic or tobacco.

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The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Italy's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino

Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and 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 success growing in California and Washington.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. 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 fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

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

WWH111800_2003 Item# 103275