100% Canaiolo from Siena, Tuscany, Italy. Aged in second passage French oak barrels for 12 months and in bottle for 6 months prior to release.
This wine is unfortunately not available in the U.S. at the moment but it was so unique I decided to highlight it anyway. It retails for right around $20 in other countries. 3,000 cases produced. Sample submitted for review.
From the winery:
Colour: Red ruby with light garnet shades.
Bouquet: Characteristic, intense, the vanilla of the wood is good balanced with the fruits and the taste of wine.
Flavour: Round, with a good structure, very good balance between softness and hardness.
Matches: Red and white meats, game and seafood soups.
Today's Chianti wines are dominated by Sangiovese, 70% is required for the normal label and 80% for Chianti Classico, but many producers even go to 100%. When they don't you'll find one of a few obscure grape varieties blended in: Colorino, Ciliegiolo [Chee-lee-eh-joh-loh], Mammolo and Canaiolo [kah-nay-YOH-loh]. That last variety is no footnote however, in fact, it wasn't all that long ago (the late 19th century) that it was the primary grape in Chianti. With its ability to dry without rotting, it gave winemakers much more flexibility in the times before wine was made in perfectly controlled environments. Some even argue that this feature is what allowed Chianti to make a name for itself in those early days. (You can find more about this unique grape variety here.) Luckily there are still a few producers out there who make Canaiolo as a single variety wine, which is just what we have in today's bottle.
The Fattoria Casabianca Loccareto Canaiolo begins with a bit of that classic Chianti aroma of sour cherry along with nice touches of raspberry, vanilla, mint and cedar. The wine tastes soft with well integrated spice and licorice notes. It's a bit tannic, but I enjoy that myself. Overall it strikes me as still a little young but nevertheless quite delicious once it opens up. It ends dry with good length. A fascinating taste into what Chianti once was.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.