One of the great things about Vinitaly is being invited to specific producer booths and getting to taste some of those wines that might be “under the table”. Not just anyone gets to taste. It’s the “good stuff” that gets saved for certain…guests. Mostly importers/distributors who have a direct relationship with the winery, or even journalists who are writing about the winery and giving it lots of good press. And then there’s little ol’ me. I just happen to be friends with an importer and she and her boyfriend (who is also a friend) invited me to sit in on the visit with Tenuta di Capezzana.
Little did I know that I would take part in a vertical of their Trefiano Riserva DOCG wine (a single vineyard), a blend of mostly Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Canaiolo. The older wines had other uvaggio, but the major grapes always stayed the same. The surprise though, came at the end, when a very aged wine was poured for us. But you’ll have to read to the end to find out just how aged this wine was!
There was a lot of chit chat (there were 8 of us tasting) so the note taking occured very quickly, therefore my notes will be brief, but you will get a good idea of the main flavour profile of these wines. (My apologies on the blurry photo of the wines. I took several but apparently none of them looked great!)
- 2012 Trefiano Riserva – (80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Canaiolo) Violet floral nose with sour cherries. Good acid and tannin structure but needs time.
- 2010 Trefiano Reserva – (80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Canaiolo) More ‘stinky’ with smoky leather on the nose but bright fruit on the palate. Massive tannins and mouthcoating.
- 2008 Trefiano Reserva – (80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Canaiolo) At 8 years old, this was more refined on the palate. Big tannins initially, but they calmed down. Notes of black licorice, violets and plums.
- 2003 Trefiano Reserva – (75% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Canaiolo) The colour was starting to get lighter at 13 years old. Earthy barnyard with leather and mushrooms. Very strong acid and tannin structure, but maybe slightly brett-y on the palate, although not unpleasant.
- 1999 Trefiano Reserva – (70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Canaiolo, 5% Cabernet Franc) At 17 years of age, this had a beautifully aged nose of beef stew, mushrooms, basil leaf and leather. Balsamic and stewed plums with medium plus acid and mouthcoating tannins on the palate.
- 1983 Trefiano Reserva – (70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Canaiolo, 10% Complementari) Garnet in colour, earth, truffles and cigar box on the nose along with dried cherries and leather. A hint of “sweetness” on the palate with sweet cigar and herbaceous notes. An elegant aged wine.
After thinking the tasting was finished, an incredible 1931 was brought out for us that up to this point, the oldest wine I’ve ever tasted! I was amazed by this wine that is older than my father! The exact percentage of the uvaggio was unclear, but we were told it was 65% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 6-10% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Mammolo and/or other local grapes. The colour of muted coca-cola, there was hints of cinnamon spice, basil, leather, dried herbs and dried cherries. Still remarkable acidity left and soft tannins, there was a long nutty finish. They do recork these older vintages every 20 years or so but otherwise, nothing else was added or taken away. I was stunned by this wine (as were the others at my table), and we were all in awe and wonder at the beauty and complexity of this aged wine. What an experience to be a part of this tasting and I will ever be thankful to Susan for including me in this!