2016 Caparsa, Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany, Italy.
The 2016 vintage in Chianti Classico is absolutely fantastic and some great new wines are coming out, like Caparsa an all organic estate in the Radda zone close to the ancient Etruscan settlement at Poggio alla Croce where vines have been planted for more than 2,000 years, with Paolo Cianferoni making wines at this winery in these famous hillsides, and his 2016 lineup is a stellar set, especially this basic Chianti Classico. Radda is one of the most historic and picturesque areas in Tuscany and when I visited the region years old I fell in love with the views, the people and the tranquility of the place, as well as the wines, some of Italy’s greatest wines are crafted within a few miles of this little hamlet between Florence and Siena, like Montevertine and their famous Le Pergole Torte. Caparsa, tasted with Filippo Cianferoni, Paolo’s son who is working with his father in the cellar, early this year at Slow Wine in San Francisco, is a label working on crafting natural style wines with holistic practices in both the vineyard and the cellar, but is very practical and is very careful with their wines and uses temperature control and modern equipment to promote purity and freshness in his offerings.

The beautifully dark ruby and crimson 2016 Chianti Classico, interestingly is the first release by Caparsa of a basic Chianti Classico and is made from all organic 100% Sangiovese grown at about 400 meters above sea level and fermented in and aged mostly in cement vats. There is a lively force intertwined with a deep sense of Sangiovese fruit here and while ripe there is loads of energy, acidity and a classic tannin structure with pretty details including floral tones and mineral notes with layers of black cherry, strawberry, plum and briar laced raspberry fruits, minty herb, seeped rose petals, tobacco leaf, anise and a hint orange peel. While the upper end range, aged in a combination of wood casks including French, Hungarian and Slovenian oak are more concentrated and blooding, this basic medium bodied Chianti Classico is more nuanced and food friendly, easy to please and comforting, providing huge smiles, getting the Tuscan memories flowing. This is a winery to follow, and without question the 2016 vintage is one to get your hands on, their collection is worthy of high praise, look for this one for quality and value as well as their Riserva and top signature wine, the Doccio a Matteo Riserva made from their best selection of grapes, about 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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