One of the nicest things about Vinitaly is that some wineries, especially older ones with historic traditions, bring some of their older vintages for visitors to explore. This time Capezzana, whose archives stretch back to the 30s, brought a fascinating set of wines from the more recent past.
Tenuta di Capezzana Carmignano Riserva 1974
70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Canaiolo and 10% other traditional varietals, aged 24 months in large (25 hl) casks. Brick with orange rim. The bouquet is delicate, with leather and some Moroccan leather acidity supported by underbrush and some medicinal notes, with underlying eucalyptus and leaf tobacco. Graceful in a fully mature key, and has quite a bit to say. On the palate it's it's bright, with fairly rich sour prune fruit supported by deft mineral acidity and some leathery accents, while the tannins are quite smooth and have some leafy accents to them. It's graceful, with considerable bright acidity that has provided backbone and both allowed it to reach this age, and given it good potential for the future. A very enjoyable older vintage. 2 stars
Tenuta di Capezzana Carmignano Riserva 1983
70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Canaiolo and 10% other traditional varietals, aged 24 months in large (25 hl) casks. Almandine with orangish rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with red berry fruit and dried flowers supported by clean berry fruit acidity and savory accents with Moroccan leather from old book bindings. Elegant though not as rich as the 74. On the palate it's quite pleasant in a full mature key, with bright tart berry fruit acidity more than fruit, supported by smooth tannins that are silky and savory, and flow into a long tart finish with some tannic underpinning. Though mature it is still quite fresh, and bright, and is a testament to the importance of acidity in red wines because without said acidity it would have settled. 90-91
Tenuta di Capezzana Carmignano Riserva 1996
80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Canaiolo, aged 12 months in large (23 hl) casks and 12 months in bottle. Deep black almandine with black highlights and almandine rim. The bouquet is elegant, with savory berry fruit supported by balsamic notes and Moroccan leather with some spice. It has quite a bit to say and is quite harmonious. On the palate it's full and rich, with elegant sour cherry fruit supported by bright acidity and tannins that are velvety though they do have steely accents, and flow into a clean bright finish with considerable peppery acidity. Quite pleasant, and unlike the older wines, which I would only drink far from the table, will go well with a steak. 88-90
Tenuta di Capezzana Carmignano DOCG 2000 80% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 12 months in 350 liter tonneaux and 12 months in bottle. Beginning with Stefano Chioccioli's arrival in 1998, Capezzana carried out green harvests in all their vineyards, thus increasing the quality of their grapes to the point that there was little point in making both Carmignano and Carmignano Riserva. Deep brick ruby with some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is muted; swishing brings up some berry fruit and spice supported by sea salt, some sour berry fruit acidity, and slight leather, with underlying dried flowers. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich sour cherry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and tannins that have a warm burr and flow into a long warm finish. By comparison with the older vintages is suffers some and this is because the end of the summer was excruciatingly hot in Tuscany, hot enough that it interfered with ripening. 2 stars
Tenuta di Capezzana Carmignano DOCG 2006
80% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 12 months in 350 liter tonneaux and 12 months in bottle. Deep cherry ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with savory notes and red berry fruit supported by a fair amount of alcohol and considerable austerity -- it really isn't at all happy about being on display in the glass. On the palate it's ample and smooth with fairly rich red berry fruit supported by deft acidity and smooth tannins that flow into a fairly long spicy tannic finish. It's quite elegant but simply NOT ready, and needs time. If you have the patience to give it, it will reward you, and the score reflects the present. 2 stars
Tenuta di Capezzana Carmignano DOCG 2007
80% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 12 months in 350 liter tonneaux and 12 months in bottle. Bright cherry ruby with cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is brighter and readier than that of the 06, and also fresher, which makes sense since it's a year younger; there are red berry fruit and underbrush mingled with vegetal accents and fairly bright acidity, with some underlying goudron. On the palate it's full and rich with powerful red berry fruit supported by smooth tannins that do display a slight burr and flow into a long warm fairly bitter finish. It's quite approachable, and at present superior to the 2006 (though its older sibling may pull ahead with time). Quite pleasant, a wine you will set out and drink, and though one usually doesn't say this about wines of this caliber, it applies here. 90-91
NO STAR goes to wines that are correctly made but nothing to get excited about.
ONE STAR goes to wines that are good. TWO STARS go to wines that are very good to excellent. THREE STARS and a POINT SCORE (90-100) go to wines that are superb to extraordinary. And I will give pairing suggestions, which I consider much more important than the scores.