Wines to Seek Out
Italy is absolutely stacked with high-quality producers that get zero press. The wrinkle for me, as the editor of this publication, is covering wineries that also have decent distribution for my readers to acquire the wines without having to cross the Atlantic. When I tasted Villa Calcinaia’s wines — in two separate flights: bianco + rosato; two Chianti — I immediately felt a sense of discovery. How come nobody talks about these guys? Hopefully, that spirit of discovery will come through for you as well.
The estate also makes three single-vineyard Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, a Merlot and a Vin Santo, all of which I intend to sample in the near future.
Villa Calcinaia “Comitale” Colli della Toscana Centrale Bianco
Made from 90% Grechetto and 10% Vernaccia, this rich white wine is reminiscent of pineapple cream and white flowers. I would offer up a food pairing suggestion, but it was so delicious and refreshing on its own that we drained the whole bottle while we cooked. Whoops. Maybe next time.
Villa Calcinaia Colli della Toscana Centrale Rosato
The rosato, made from 100% Canaiolo, is my favorite rosé in all of Italy — a remarkably fresh wine with precise aromas and flavors (sour plum, cherry blossoms, blood orange citrus) and a plush texture that you just want to snuggle with. (You read that right: a rosé to snuggle with).
Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico
The Sangiovese-focused wines are brilliant examples of where this historic wine-growing region is headed: savory, elegant and ready for cuisine matchmaking. The Chianti Classico impressed me with its balance of ease and seriousness: just want something delicious? Sip away. Looking for more detail? I have that, too.
Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico Riserva
Meanwhile, the Chianti Classico Riserva, as I would expect, is significantly more structured — the kind of wine to show the region's heavyweights that this estate is on equal footing. Give it 10 years to really see it shine, if you can wait that long.