Wine: Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano DOC
Grapes: Sangiovese grosso (80 percent), cabernet sauvignon (20 percent)
Region: Carmignano, Tuscany, Italy
Availability: Major retailers
In the glass: Capezzana Barco Reale is a very dark cherry-red color with a dense opaque core going out into a fine crimson-red rim definition with medium-high viscosity.
On the nose: There are immediate huge concentrated gobs of black aromatic fruit with black cherries, brambleberries, black spicy plum notes, some wood notes, wet tobacco, dark chocolate, herbs de Provence, fresh salvia and hints of meaty minerals. It has a classically Tuscan nose.
On the palate: The wine just coats the palate with classic Tuscan character meaning black cherry compote, plum marmalade, extracted slightly spicy and wooded notes of blackberries, currants, tobacco, minerals and light herbs. The midpalate is powerful and mouth-filling showcasing rounded tannins that are in complete harmony with the fruit, going into a lovely finish that just lingers for 30-plus seconds with lots of dark fruit and cherry concentrate. Definitely one of the most delicious Tuscan wines in this category that I have tasted recently.
Odds and ends: This is a wine that I have enjoyed when dining in Tuscany, especially in Florence and Sienna, where it is available in most of the restaurants. Capezzana is one of the oldest wine-producing estates in Tuscany, dating back to 804 when production of wine was first recorded at this estate; that is to say, they are celebrating 1,210 years in the industry this year. Given this kind of history, in addition to the fact that Carmignano where they are, has been making wine for more than 3,000 years, it would be fair to assume they know a little bit about what they’re doing. Carmignano itself was named one of the protected top wine-growing areas by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III de Medici in 1716, and the early formation of this DOC was secured. I was reminded of the delicious wine by one of the younger generation of the family behind the illustrious estate now, Emanuele Gastel of the noble Bonacossi lineage, but coming from a very illustrious family history and traveling around spreading the gospel on these wines. A charming young man who does his lineage and the wines credit, as we methodically tasted through the newest releases from the estate. Capezzana produces a series of lovely wines, but while there are certainly bigger and more expensive wines in the lineup, this Barco Reale (noble park) is the killer value of the bunch. Recently introduced in retail here, it can be found in several stores and is a terrific wine, especially with classic Bistecca Fiorentina aka T-bone steak. Drink it now through 2017.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.