A bygone wine: 1991 Chianti Montalbano by Capezzana

capezzana

Tuesday morning finds me on the road and on a secret mission, ferrying precious cargo, and so I cannot reveal my location. But I can share my impressions of one of the most amazing wines I’ve tasted in a long time, a truly bygone bottle (to borrow Eric’s phrase from his bygone blog The Pour, requiescat in pace): 1991 Chianti Montalbano by Capezzana.

The Montalbano subzone of Chianti is one of the growing areas that enjoyed great celebrity in a bygone era, eclipsing the fame of appellations that enjoy household brand status today (like Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino). On another day, when I have more time and access to my library at home, I’ll have to look up what Edmondo de Amicis said famously of this appellation, which, according to legend, he enjoyed immensely despite his abstinence.

Today, only a handful of wineries produce Chianti Montalbano and I don’t have time to figure out when the regal Capezzana estate, famed producer of Carmignano, bottled its last Montalbano.

The 1991 harvest was a good although not great vintage in Tuscany but this wine was very, very much alive, with bright fruit and acidity. Old-school Sangiovese, probably with a kiss of Canaiolo to lend some color and mouthfeel.

capezzana

My companions and I expected it to “fall away,” shortly after being opened but over the roughly 45 minutes it took us to consume the bottle, it remained vibrant and beautiful — one of the greatest wines I’ve tasted in some time (and I must say that I have the good fortune to taste a lot of good ones!).

To anyone who can share info about this bottle, please do so!

In other news…

I’m writing in hurry today because on the road but I’m happy to report that one of the upshots of the current volcanic crisis in Europe is that American wine professionals and European winemakers alike are stuck in Europe. As a result, I’m hearing reports that lots of folks are getting together to taste and to visit wineries. When life gives you lemons, the saying goes…

More later… and thanks for reading…