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I am well aware of the privileged position I enjoy by working as a wine tour guide for Tuscany Wine Tours in my homeland, Tuscany.
Not only does it keep me in close contact with a world I love, by giving me the opportunity to be exposed to the ever changing interpretations of winemakers and their creations, but it also gives me the opportunity to share this passion of mine with other wine enthusiasts, who come from all corners of the world to discover our region, our history and tradition through the multiple expressions of our precious Sangiovese grapes - be it the base of one of the many traditional blends, such as the Chianti wines, or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano, Carmignano or Montecucco, all variations of a same theme, or be it the pure and bold, but sombre and elegant expression that we can find in the great Brunello di Montalcino. Of course, Sangiovese can also be one of the many varieties now grown in Tuscany that winemakers play with to create their idea of the so-called “Supertuscans”.
This is the case for Capro Rosso, a Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT wine, a blend of Sangiovese, Colorino and Cabernet Sauvignon. The producer is Fattoria di Bagnolo, one of the small wine and Extra Virgin Olive Oil producers near Florence that enrich the exclusive network of wineries that our guests get to visit on our tours.
Every tour I do has something special that will remain with me, but it must have been my lucky day when Marco Bartolini Baldelli, owner of Fattoria di Bagnolo, decided it was the right day to discover how the last magnum bottle of Capro Rosso, vintage 2002, from his personal collection was doing and share it with the guests I brought with me that day. The opening of an older bottle of wine is always an exciting event. Whatever the outcome may be I cannot help feeling like a child who is getting ready to listen to a grandparent’s story, as this is the magic that wines can carry with them, especially when left to age in the bottle.
This was definitely one of those occasions and I was put on the spot by being asked to check the wine as soon as opened after its long sleep, to make sure it was allright. The appearance was perfect: a beautiful, brilliant and quite deep red colour with generous garnet reflexes and a long nail on the edge to show for its maturity, but still vibrant with a ruby red core, the foreword of a good livelyhood still very present.
There was a small hint of mustiness, like when you walk into a room where windows have just been opened after having closed off the outside world for a long while. Entirely expected and not at all a reason for worry – we had time up our sleeves to let it breathe and express its true self.
The first sip was also somewhat ungraceful: extremely dry, but the effect of acidity did kick in with a little delay giving us hope for better composure in due time.
The awakening of this wine was a really exciting experience. Just a few minutes later the aroma started changing dramatically, becoming very pleasant and intense, offering notes of mixed spices that eventually revealed themselves more individually: intense coriander, making way to nutmeg and cumin and just an underlying touch of vanilla, all coming together like a classy dress that still revealed a charming ripe cherry body.
In the palate, every sip was more and more elegant with the mature tannins getting in perfect balance with the acidity and making this essentially austere wine very fresh and well composed, as well as estremely alluring with its intriguing complexity that kept on inviting you to sample some more.
This truly interesting tasting session was topped up by being gifted the rest of the bottle, which I enjoyed later at home with some very ripe, soft French cheese that combined perfectly with it.
Thank you Marco for another memorable opportunity to appreciate the wonders that a great wine can offer in telling us its unique story, minute by minute, chapter by chapter, sip by sip, as it slowly, but surely wakes up from its deep sleep to finally reveal its glorious ending.
Now, looking at the empty bottle, all I can think is: that’s history!
Submitted by Francesca Nustrini