Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Campriano: This Year's Wines from Ranuccio Neri

I have long liked Ranuccio Neri's wines, and was therefore rather distressed when he told me a few years ago that he was no longer making a white -- the people overseeing the production of Bianco Val D'Arbia, his appellation, had decided it required "sprucing up," and decreed that Chardonnay be added to it. Since he didn't have any and had no intention of planting any, he wasn't going to make it any more.

So this year I was delighted to discover that he has changed his mind, and is once again making his white. As he always has, from Trebbiano Toscano, and since the Bianco Val D'Arbia appellation still requires Chardonnay he doesn't have, he is labeling it as an IGT. I began with it:

Campriano Bianco IGT Toscana 2007
Lot 6008
Pale brassy white with brassy reflections. Pleasant bouquet with floral accents and heather mingled with white berry fruit and some spice form the grapes. Quite fresh and gives a good idea of what Trebbiano is capable of when well grown. On the palate it's medium bodied and deft, with clean mineral laced citric fruit that flows into a clean citric finish with underlying minerality, and though the term minerality is often overused, it's apt here. A very pleasant wine, which will drink well as an aperitif or with hearty vegetable or legume based soups, and also with simple meat or fish dishes, or with a slice of Tuscan pecorino cheese. Expect the bottle to go quickly.
2 stars

Campriano Rosato Toscana IGT 2007
Lot 6008
This is a blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo Nero, and is pale salmon pink with brilliant highlights. The bouquet is bright, with heather and red berry fruit supported by clean raspberry acidity and some crushed sage herbal notes. Quite inviting. On the palate it's deft, with bright slightly greenish red berry fruit supported by raspberry acidity and smooth light tannins that flow into a warm tart finish. It's a bit of a lark, one of those wines that will finish before you expect it to. Ideal for a cookout or picnic, or indoors too, for example with quickly grilled meats or even pizza.
2 stars

Campriano Chianti Colli Senesi 2006
Lot 16406
Lively cherry ruby with cherry rim. Fresh bouquet with lively red berry fruit supported by clean slightly leafy underbrush. Deft, inviting, and pleasant in a traditional key, displaying considerable finesse. On the palate it's clean, with slightly brambly red berry fruit supported by warmth and brambly tannins with some vegetal accents that flow into a clean bright finish. It's a bit young -- a year would add grace -- but will drink quite well with grilled meats or light stews, and I'd be tempted to serve it with a platter of mixed fried meats and vegetables too. It's one of those wines you will set out, turn your back, and find empty when you turn around again.

Campriano Vinsanto del Chianti 2001
Tawny amber; the color is dark because Ranuccio also slipped some Caniolo into it. Fairly rich bouquet with dark brown sugar laced with walnut skins, dried fruit, and some walnut butter acidity. Inviting. On the palate it's full, and quite sweet, with elegant brown sugar sweetness supported by warmth and clean apricot acidity that flows into a long warm finish with brown sugar and dried apricot overtones. Quite nice, and if you're a fan of sweet wines (and I am9 you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Want to know more about Campriano? Check out Ranuccio's Site

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