Buon giorno a tutti.
One does get out of the habit of posting, but that's about to change. There's been a lot going on at Domenico Selections World HQ, and more will be revealed in the coming weeks and months.
For today, though, we'll focus on two wines with a bright, vivacious personality from a Chianti producer, Fattoria Castelvecchio. Oddly enough, we are starting out with non-Chianti crus, because we thought they were the most distinctive for the winery's introduction to the United States.
Castelvecchio is a large estate of ancient lineage in San Casciano Val di Pesa, close to Florence. The Rocchi family have owned, and vastly improved it, over the last 50 years. Today, young Filippo Rocchi runs the property with his sister Stefania. These personable, energetic young people are making wines that straddle the traditional and the modern in a way that assures their commercial viability - no mean feat in the present dismal economic conditions and given the intense competition in the Chianti zone.
Filippo and his sister Stefania with obligatory friends
We instantly fell head over heels for the Rocchis' 2007 Numero 8 (Numero Otto). A rare example of 100% Canaiolo, one of the traditional blending grapes of Chianti, Numero 8 combines a lively acidity with an explosion of brambly dark fruits. An 8-month passage in barrique tames the acidity and smooths the wine to make a thrilling, unusual drink. Yes, it's a niche wine. But it's a niche that can grow in the right venues.
The second wine from Castelvecchio is Orme in Rosso 2009 is made up of 50% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Proportions vary by vintage. It's a blend that is, frankly, aimed at international markets. (By the way, Italians go for these blends too.)
If you follow scores, these brand-new arrivals got good marks from Antonio Galloni on eRobertParker.com. The Numero 8 (90), Orme in Rosso (89).
Don't hate us because we're beautiful.
By the way, Stefania will represent Castelvecchio at our portfolio tasting on September 24 in New York. Details coming soon.