2016 Caparsa, Chianti Classico “Doccio a Matteo Riserva” Tuscany, Italy.
The absolutely gorgeous Doccio a Matteo Riserva by Caparsa is made from their best selection of grapes at their Radda estate set in the hills of chianti Classico, it is made up of about 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino and it is wonderfully expressive, vintage dense and beautifully layered. I discovered this small winery at this year’s Slow Wine tasting in San Francisco, which seems like a thousand years ago, considering what has transpired this year and it remains a small bright spot in what have been trying times. As noted in my earlier review of this exciting new find (for me), Caparsa is run by Paolo Cianferoni, a talented winegrower, who is making wines that show indigenous varietals, mostly Sangiovese of course, still rule in this historic region. Using hand tended vines set about 400 meters above sea level and great exposure and cool night, these wines show great ripe fruit, but with exceptional balance, these are elegant offerings, especially this Doccio a Matteo Riserva that delivers a classic set of flavors including black raspberry, plum, strawberry and kirsch along with tobacco leaf, anise, sandalwood, dried flowers, mint and orange tea spices. Cianferoni uses a combination of oak vessels, employing French, Hungarian and Slovenian wood casks to age his wines, trying to find the magic formula to allow smooth textures, light smoky notes and preserving freshness and detail, which in this 2016, a legendary vintage, he did incredibly well. This dark garnet Doccio a Matteo has a firm, but supple mouth feel and a pure and lengthy finish, this is fabulous Chianti that impresses for not being jacked up with Cabernet, Merlot or Syrah and embraces its native grapes.

Caparsa is 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. I tasted this wine originally with Filippo Cianferoni, Paolo’s son, who is working with his father in the cellar, early this year, as mentioned, at Slow Wine, and he explained to me that Caparsa is 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. I am a big lover of Chianti Classico and will never forget my own experiences visiting this region and my day in Radda, which felt like a pilgrimage to Tuscany’s Mecca, it remains a place close to my heart and I am craving to travel back and make some new treasured memories and Caparsa will be on my list of visits. When I’m grabbing wines for Fall and Winter I look for wines like Le Miccine, Felsina and Montesecondo which go great with the shorter days and chilly nights and I will be adding Caparsa to my favorites. This world class red deserves your attention and is worth every hard earned penny, I can’t wait to enjoy it again soon.
($55 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

By admin