The somewhat mysterious Etruscans are an Italianate culture that proceeded
and laid a foundation for the much later Roman age. Though their winemaking
traditions in Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio can be dated roughly to 1000BC, the
far less ancient vineyards now overseen by head winemaker Benedetta Contini
Bonacossi has a relatively contemporary history that’s rooted in the Italian
Renaissance. Their 100-hectare Cappezzana estate on the slopes of Monte
Albano north-west of Florence was part of a large land holding of the influential
Medici Grand Dukes. After centuries of twists and turns in ownership, passing
in title through numerous Tuscan nobilities, it was acquired by the Bonacossi
family early in the 1920’s. Historically, the wine output of this small agricultural
area was an undistinguished part of the greater, Chianti designation of origin;
the estate now produces its premium wine lines within the Carmignano DOCG
(Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), established in 1990.
The appellation covers 450 hectares of vineyard around the namesake town of
Carmignano with its evolving history as a vinicultural nursery. In the 18th century,
under guidance from the Grand Duke Cosimo III, the region’s range of grapevine
plantings were expanded, including the adopting of French Cabernet Sauvignon;
now one of the allowable and distinctive components in the region’s basic blend.
Built around the starring grape, Sangiovese, the classic Tuscan recipe also calls
for incorporating splashes of indigenous Canaiolo Nero and Cabernet Franc to
help round out the structure, flavour and aroma.
In the modern age, the Cappezzana winery is also producing more youthful red
wines employing the same varieties, under the umbrella of a parallel appellation:
Barco Reale di Carmignano DOC created in 1994. These are only a lesser
grade in the sense that they’re fashioned from younger vines and aren’t officially
subject to the more stringent, ageing requirements of Carmignano (a minimum
2 years) prior to release. Nonetheless, this week’s DéClassé feature has spent
12 months in tight-grained Allier oak barrels and much more in the bottle. With sufficiently smoothed tannins, this very well-made, layered, fresh and charming
offering is ready to punctuate your well-laid dinner table now.
CAPEZZANA BARCO REALE DI CARMIGNANO 2012
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #508531 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 17.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Tuscany, Italy
By: Conte Contini Bonacossi
Release Date: August 8, 2015
As the wine is made with younger fruit, it has a decidedly bright, red-berry flavour
profile, but also offers complimentary hints of Cassis and spice. Try serving with
dishes such as pasta with Bolognese sauce or heartier stews and tapas.