John Paul Kaminga
A Nod, a Nudge, a Barb to Brunello: Campi Nuovi Riserva
It's twentytwentycru y'all! Eeesh... I hope you didn't enjoy that as much as I did. In any case, I want to be clear: I'm looking forward to 2022, spending time with my loved ones, hopefully traveling more, finding lots of new wines of course, eating great food, reading new books... there's a lot to love about life, and we can't wait to talk to you about it this year. One thing I'm seriously unsure about in 2022 (actually there are lots of things) is whether I'll be able to beat this offer today. It is truly a banger.
If you know our Tuscan proclivities, you know we're big fans of Sangiovese in purezza, that is PURE SANGIOVESE, no Cab, no Merlot, Syrah wtf. We'll curiously countenance some Trebbiano and Malvasia in the mix (white grapes? yes, let's talk about it) and one might find us celebrating Canaiolo, Colorino, Ciliegiolo, Malvasia Nera.... Pugnitello anyone? BUT, we would confidently place Sangiovese next to Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir as an example of a grape that excels on its own.
Brunello di Montalcino is probably the most exalted example of Sangiovese's solo greatness, but we'll be among the first to lament the lack of quality options at reasonable prices. Plus, there are so many great Chianti wines that compete with, or absolutely slay, the average Brunello. Then there are wineries like Campi Nuovi that operate in zones like Montecucco, where nobody really pays attention, and prices can make me wonder why I carry any Brunello at all. I'm being a bit unfair, I know, and I want to make it clear that Brunello is not all over-priced, over-ripe, and over-oaked, there are many worthwhile options (as well as mind-bending glories) but you're not going to find anything close to Campi Nuovi Montecucco Riserva 2016 at $33.
Daniele Rossellini is one of Italy's busiest vineyard consultants and together with his wife, Nadia Riguccini, they have established one of Tuscany's finest vineyards at Campi Nuovi. A high hill with a diverse mix of soils, including the famous galestro that informs so many of Chianti Classico's most powerful and ageworthy wines, Campi Nuovi is a gem in the Montecucco DOCG. Situated in an incessantly breezy corridor, with Brunello di Montalcino to the west and the Tuscan coast to the east, the vines and fruit of Campi Nuovi benefit greatly from the freshness imparted by elevation and wind. Organic agriculture and precise vineyard work have always been practiced here, while native yeast fermentation and minimal intervention through élevage ensure that their spectacular fruit is transformed into a most pure and natural expression of Campi Nuovi's privileged terroir. Daniele's talent and ardor for fine Sangiovese is on full display with his 2016 Riserva. I am sure I have not tasted anything better from Campi Nuovi, and I've been tasting this Riserva since the 2006 vintage.
I'm going to call in a little back up and quote from Ian D'Agata's note on the 2009 Campi Nuovi Montecucco:
Tasted blind, this is a dead ringer for a Castelnuovo dell'Abate Brunello di Montalcino: of course that's not surprising given that Montecucco is situated right next to the Montalcino area and that many feel the sangiovese that grows there is as good as, if not better than, sangiovese in the lesser areas of Montecucco's more famous neighbor. Of course, it has long been rumored that sangiovese from Montecucco also finds its way into Montalcino wines, but of course we all know that could not possibly be so.
LOL, I love this. Happy new year to you Dr. D'Agata!
Campu Nuovi Montecucco Riserva 2016 - $33
100% Sangiovese. This acts like a serious Brunello. Hoard it. Aromas of sweet dark cherry, plums, tobacco, menthol, spring flowers, airy hints of baking spice and roasted meat.... full and firmly dry, lots of ripe fruit and exotic spice notes, serious tannins and beautifully incisive acids, this is quite rich and almost velvety but plenty fresh at the same time. Gorgeous inner perfume of tobacco, flowers and ripe stone fruits. Long finish full of cherry and plum nuances, both the sweet juices and pleasantly bitter skins, as well complex spice and herb notes. Pretty much ready to go, but this will develop for 5+ and be worth following at least another 5 thereafter. Brilliant under the radar wine.
We also have a small number of 1.5L ($72) and 3L ($144) available.
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