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92 points Vinous Media: The 2020 Carnasciale is gorgeous. A deeply pitched bouquet leads into a core of dark cherry/plum fruit, leather, spice, menthol, tobacco and espresso. Intensely aromatic and deep on the palate, with fabulous depth, the 2020 is outrageously beautiful and full of character. Since 2019, Carnasciale has been a blend of fruit from younger vineyards and aged in cask, rather a true second wine, aged mostly in 40HL plus a few barrels deselected from Caberlot.
If you have not and you love the wines from Bordeaux, Old School Napa, and the top Super Tuscans, this must be in your repertoire and tasting memory! I had the 2011 last year and it was outstanding! I like to think of this as the "Cheval Blanc" of Itlay because of its Cabernet Franc roots.
Continuing on with the Carnasciale wines, we have the "Baby Caberlot" this time around. The selection of the wine for this bottling are the barrels not selected for the big boy in magnum, the "il Caberlot". The great thing here is that while this is a second wine, the character and typicity of the Caberlot is VERY present and shows very much that it is the same grape and made the same way as the Il Caberlot when you have them next to each other. So, if you don't want to pony up for the magnum, you will not be disappointed in buying this. I have drunk many bottles of this from vintages going back to 2004 and shared them with friends that are just simply blown away by the character and quality in the bottle. Like the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding...!
I visited Il Carnasciale back in June 2017, we were met by the Carnasciale enologist Marco Maffei and winemaker Peter Schilling. Peter showed us the home vineyard "Carnasciale", healthy and green in the warm June sun with shoots and leaves rising up from the small goblet trained old wood of the vines. Read about that visit in my article here: Wine Solutions Visits Carnasciale in Tuscany.
- Grapes: 100% Caberlot
- Soil: The Carnasciale Vineyard sits at 420m, while the other vineyards are planted at 150-175 meters in limestone soils with chalk and sandy components
- 40+ distinctive lots: Each parcel is vinified and matured in wood separately until the blending is conducted at around months.
- Maturation: Aged in Burgundy sized casks (228L) of new and used French oak barrels typically for 22 months and usually about 40-65% new depending on what the vintage dictates. The new French oak is always a medium toast of Ermitage and Taransaud.