Conti Capponi - Villa Calcinaia Colli della Toscana Centrale Comitale Bianco 2012
Villa Calcinaia (pronounced “Kal-chin-aya”) is situated in the center of Chianti Classico near the town of Greve-in-Chianti. This historic estate has been home to the Counts Capponi since 1524, and is maintained by Sebastiano Capponi and his brother Niccolò. Calcinaia is the heart of the Capponi family and each generation gives new life to the fields, woods, vineyards and cellars. These wines express the family’s love for their land; with every vintage they share the hopes, worries, pride and care that come with making honest wines. Organic farming has been the standard at Villa Calcinaia since Sebastiano took over the estate’s management in 1992. The wines are certified as being produced with organic grapes since the 2014 vintage and are labeled as such. The 75 acres of vineyard are planted with Sangiovese, Merlot, Canaiolo, Grechetto, Vernaccia, Trebbiano, and Malvasia to name a few. Villa Calcinaia has been recognized for producing exemplary wines from rare indigenous varietals such as Mammolo and San Forte. Through every vintage, all the wines are crafted with food in mind. They are balanced, elegant, perfumed, and savory yet refreshing with restrained vigor and intensity that ensures longevity. The Villa Calcinaia philosophy has always been: “Love for the land, respect for tradition, and the rightful pride in bearing the name of Capponi.”
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, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.
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, scattered with vineyards.
Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. 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 expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. 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, Carmignano and the island of Elba.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.