John Paul Kaminga
L'Eleganza: Tenuta di Carleone
We love Sangiovese, in particular Sangiovese from Chianti Classico. There's just nothing else like these wines, That being said, between elevation, exposition, soil and human intervention, there's a huge variety of styles coming from Chianti Classico. We tend to prefer those that highlight the tension between sweet ripe fruitiness and bright acidity that seems to come so naturally to fine Sangiovese; one might say that these wines have a certain elegance.
In many years of tasting Sangiovese, I've only rarely come across an example as exciting as Tenuta di Carleone's 2018 Chianti Classico: wildly aromatic, bright, fresh, cutting yet polished. I'd been encountering accounts of Tenuta di Carleone's wines for a few years, and they sounded really interesting, but they were not imported to Massachusetts until now. My excitement only increased when I found that they were being imported directly by a small local company, as this meant we would have access at more reasonable prices. We have two wines to offer: I prefer the Chianti Classico, but I was really smitten by the Merlot/Cab Franc blend, which surprised and delighted me.
Tenuta di Carleone Chianti Classico 2018 - $30
Wild and wonderful, but super elegant too, this is dynamite Sangiovese. Floral and herbal, with beautiful notes of roses, lavender, mint, and fennel pollen accenting beautiful fresh cherry, plum, strawberry sorbet and whispers of blood orange and thyme blossom. Lively and zippy on the palate, with a beautiful interplay of dark and light elements, easy tannins, almost silky, delicate acid line that carries through the finish, carrying tart fruit and dusty herbal notes. This will soften and develop complexity for at least 5 years, and should be worth following for a decade or so. Gorgeous Chianti Classico.
Tenuta di Carleone 'Randagio' 2019 - $26
I think this is quite nice, and I'm usually not a big fan of French grapes in Chianti. The Merlot element is pretty obvious, the Cab Franc less so, but the interplay between the two varieties gives this a classic right bank vibe. Aromas of dark cherry, raspberry, blackberry, violets, dried herbs, dusty gravel road, a delightful top note of blood orange and a faint rumble of dark chocolate. Very juicy upfront, a little soft in the middle, but with air it takes on more earthy and herbal tones, and the finish has beautiful cut and firm tannic grip. This will get more interesting when the fruit fades a bit. I would, however, follow it pretty closely, as I'm not sure it has the structure to improve beyond a few years. Hard to tell right now. Lovely stuff though. This brightens up on day two, showing more Cab Franc character. Still lovely. Highly recommend checking this out.
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