2016 Volpaia Citto Organic Super Tuscan
What do you get when you mix a 96-point, Top 3 Wine of the Year (WS) with Cabernet? An amazing Super Tuscan.
That’s right – what do you get when you mix the 96-point Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva (number three Wine of the Year) with Cabernet from the same producer? – A mouthwateringly succulent Super Tuscan that is perfect for your everyday cocktailing red, or a simple take-in pizza dinner, or even a gorgeously fancy braised Osso Bucco. And at this price, you can serve it to everyone. What on earth is going on here? Two things:
First, as you have probably already surmised, Volpaia is one of Chianti’s top producers. They have some of the best growing conditions in its zone in Chianti – a fact borne out that vines were first planted there in 1172. Those original vineyards have been bought and sold over the years and passed through many hands until they landed with Raffaello Stanti, a bookbinder and printer in the early 1960s. Raffaello had one daughter, Giovannella, whom he gave on her wedding dayan 18th-century ring in the shape two dancing foxes – a Volpaia, or fox’s lair. As she later recalled, the ring sealed her destiny to the town and vineyard, which she and her husband inherited in 1972. They, along with their children, continue to manage the estate to this day.
Second, this winemaking family is driven by constant innovation – but not without honoring their historical roots. Which leads us to this wine. It is a blend of the estate’s Sangiovese, the bulk of which makes it into their aforementioned Chianti Classicos. This is backed up by Cabernet. Sangiovese is the tradition of Chianti, and Cabernet – since the famous Super Tuscans debuted in the 1960s—is still very popular there today.
This is Volpaia’s first foray into the Super Tuscan category, and what an accomplished start it is:
The wine opens with a Chianti-like, ardent expression of luminous cherry fruit and savory Italian herb notes. This is immediately joined by Cabernet’s dark expression of blackberries, anise, fig, pencil lead and gravel. The nose itself is an intriguing experience in the mastery of blending – two grapes coming together to make something alluring. The palate delves deeper into this satisfaction. There is richness and depth from the Cabernet, while the Sangiovese brings it right on home to the Italian dinner table, where an antipasto of prosciutto, oil-cured tomatoes and Taleggio cheese is never remiss. Meet your new favorite pizza wine, at a Monday night price.