Conti Capponi - Villa Calcinaia Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2007
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 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.
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.