The Contini Bonacossi family and Tenuta di Capezzana share a long history. The lands they have been custodians of since 1926 have born witness to centuries of cultivation of olive trees and vines.
Since 1947 Cesare Alessandro Contini Bonacossi‘s son, Augusto Alessandro, was joined by his eldest son Ugo, a graduate in agriculture, who gradually transformed Capezzana from a sharecropping farm to a celebrated oil and wine making estate.
Ugo’s children: Filippo (above), Beatrice and Benedetta now manage the estate each bringing their own particular skill set to the befit of the estate as a whole.
The founders of this famous estate, namely Vittoria and Alessandro were eminent art collectors. Alessandro being one of greatest antique dealers of the 20th century, created one of the most important private art collections in the world. The main extent of this extraordinary collection was donated to the Italian state in 1969 by his heirs: now referred to as the Contini Bonacossi Donation, this colossal art collection can be visited inside the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, room upon room of priceless treasures.
The estate is to be found on the hills of the municipality of Carmignano, north west of Florence, it extends over 650 hectares of which 90 hectares are vineyards and 140 are olive groves.
In the Bando (edict) of 1716 Grand Duke Cosimo III de’Medici included Carmignano, this defined the area of Chianti Classico, and the first word in law on the protection of wines.
The buildings on the estate are steeped in history from the 16th and 17th century cellars to the magnificent Villa at its centre.
Today the emphasis is all on the vineyards: progressive replanting with greater requirement for plant density. Abandoning nitrogen fertilisation, introducing zoning, and adopting green pruning in order to improve quality. Finally, extensive samplings pre harvest are carried out according to the phenolic maturation methods, all these strategic interventions have greatly assisted in giving a higher quality product. The largest single vineyard is 4 hectares.
The soil composition of Carmignano was originating from underwater land sites, firstly clayey soils that changed to gravel then back to clay and marl. The variability of the soil and micro climate of each individual vineyard gives rise to the complexity of the wines. Since 2009 a rigorous organic and biological approach has prevailed.
With history being self written by the passage of time, the evolution of this estate is focusing on the quality of its two most important products for centuries: wine and olive oil.
This is an extraordinary wine estate which I urge you to visit, has a unique character, unexpectedly intriguing, almost enigmatic.
I wish to thank my generous and gracious host Filippo Contini Bonacossi for his hospitality and time spent away from his busy schedule. I look forward to returning in the future, should I be so fortunate.
Barco Reale di Carmignano DOC 2020
Sangiovese 75% Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Canaiolo 10%
Medium ruby red in colour. Aromas of red florals and berry fruits.Herbal nuances.
Blackberry, blueberry, salty liquorice, orange peel, menthol infused energy. Acidity and tannins in harmony. Balanced. Fresh with a linear fruity close.
Villa di Capezzana Carmignano DOCG 2019
Ruby red in colour. Rich palate of warm red cherry, blackberry,balsam, liquorice, coffee bean aromas, dry leather. Soft rounded entry. Coats the palate. Terrific persistence. Clean. Fresh. Precise. Articulated finish.
Points 93 TW
Villa di Capezzana Carmignano DOCG 2013
Sangiovese 80% Cabernet Sauvignon 20%
Deep ruby red in colour. Heady canopy of violet florals. Red cherry, blackberry, vanilla. Secondary nuances of distant spice, tobacco notes and liquorice. Showing energy off the mid palate. Finish is broad and linear. Leaves a fresh mouthfeel.
Points 92 TW
Villa di Capezzana Carmignano DOCG 2005
Medium ruby red in colour. Red cherry, plum, exotic spice, dewberry, pomegranate.
Savoury. Distant notes of worn leather, dry earth and white smoke. Mid palate showing pulsing energy of fruit. Plump and juicy. Slight citrusy character on the long close.
Points 94 TW
Trefiano Carmignano DOCG Riserva 2018
Sangiovese 80% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Canaiolo Nero 10%
Intense ruby red in colour. Compelling aromatics of violet, lavender and clove. Bing cherry, raspberry, blonde tobacco and slate. Soft warm entry. Dusty tannins but compact. Good level of acidity balance. Agile with great length.
Ugo Contini Bonacossi Toscana IGT 2016
Bright ruby red in colour.Aromatics of violet, magnolia and pale rose petal.Red cherry, loganberry, wild strawberry, blonde tobacco, dried Mediterranean herbs, star anise, balsam notes and underbrush.Boisterous and super expressive. Balanced. Persistent. Super attractive wine. Finish goes on and on.
Points 95 TW
Ghiaie della Furba Toscana IGT 2020
Dark ruby red in colour. Aromas of tart red fruits , cashew and cedar shavings. Soft rich entry red cherry, blackberry, mocha,smoke and slate on the back end.Residual tannin tension and zesty acidity; will lessen with bottle age. Linear long finish.
Points 92-94 TW
Ghiaie della Furba Toscana IGT 2004
Medium ruby red in colour. The Cabernet has all but taken over. Dark cherry, blackberry, layered minerality, liquorice, faint oaky notes. Savoury.Earthy.Still showing the class and opulence of this classic vintage. Distant chocolate notes on the close.A joy to taste this wine.
Points 95 TW
Ghiaie della Furba Toscana IGT 1999
Before I review this wine. I think it is very important to understand its history. One of the first super Tuscans, conceived in 1979 with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc in equal parts, the last grape being replaced with 10% Syrah and the Cabernet Sauvignon rising to 60%.
Deep ruby red in colour with an opaque hue. Exquisite aromatics of dark blue florals, tobacco leaf, bitter chocolate, and warm earth. Underpinned with a puff of roasted coffee beans. Blackberry, Calabrian liquorice, pomegranate, dark eastern spice. Slowly expands on the mid palate in all directions giving layers of textural depth. A gracious shadow of its former brooding and muscular self. Finish goes on a marathon.
Points 98 TW
Ghiaie della Furba Toscana IGT 1981
Same wine as before but completely different style.
Medium garnet red in colour with pale amber undertones. Aromas are still in play, dry cherry in alcohol, stewed prune, humus notes, black truffle notes.Joyful expressions of aged red fruit extract,tangerine peel, dried floral underbrush. Still showing an active pulse, a credit to this winery and an honour to taste.
Out of respect of the age of this wine I display no points.
Vin Ruspo Rosato di Carmignano DOC 2022
To clean and rebalance the palate before lunch a Sangiovese Rosato.
Blush pink with copper undertones in colour.Bing cherry, orange peel, yellow peach. Lightly textured, clean, spring floral notes. Soft edges. Balanced and refreshing. Medium to long finish.
Points 89 TW
© Tony Wood Italian Wine 2023