On Oct 28, 2019, at 11:03 AM, Eric Stumpf wrote:
One of the joys of our international travel is developing long term friendships with producers and winemakers. A special benefit comes being privy to “insider” information. Thus last week we were so pleased to learn, and then personally have confirmed to us by Silvia Vannucci (on my right with hand on shoulder), that her 2016 Piaggia Carmignano Riserva DOCG (Tuscany) will be honored in next year’s upcoming 2020 Gambero Rosso edition with its 6th consecutive “Tre Bicchieri” award. BUT, even more importantly, the wine will be declared the “RED WINE of the YEAR”!!! For those of you not familiar with Gambero Rosso, this annual, and exhaustive judging of over 22,000 wines is considered the ultimate authoritarian guide for Italian wine, and typically only about 400 wines are selected for the highest and most coveted Tre Bicchiere (3 glass) honor. To be honored as the “Red Wine of the Year” is a life time achievement, and cements Piaggia’s legacy not only in Carmignano-Tuscany, but all of Italy. Silvia told me the news was totally unexpected, and the family was simply speechless, but so excited.
Nothing like getting a head start on everyone to secure this wine before demand dwindles supply and spirals up pricing. btw – this wine typically receives ratings from the major critics in the mid 90s.
I recall first selling the 1997 Piaggia Carmignano Riserva. The village of Carmignano, from which the DOCG takes its name, is only about 12 miles to the west of Florence. The Piaggia farm is situated in the commune of Poggio a Caiano a few miles further to the west. The Sangiovese wine from this small region was favored by the French Queen Catherine d’ Medici in the early sixteenth century, and she blessed Carmignano with the gift of Bordeaux vine cuttings which are now traditionally included in the wine.
The Piaggia Carmignano Riserva is 70% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc, and 10% Merlot. The DOCG requires two years of aging before release. Silvia maintains the wine for 18 months in French oak barrique. Then the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered and held for at least another 6 months of refinement.
As I have been repeating, the 2015 and 2016 Tuscan vintages are absolutely benchmark and will be considered reference points. I can assure you will find a wine of dark ruby color, intense spice aromas, layers of ripe cassis-cherry fruit, complexity, great structure and balance. The integrated tannin will assure enjoyment now, or long term cellaring.