It is quite rare to find, in any period in time, a space where all the elements come together, and an absolute star winemaker comes to rise within their respective region. With the exception of the multi-generational antique houses that spatter the old world, every now and then, a master of the likes of Didier Dagueneau and Heidi Barrett will burst through the surface and change ideas about what is possible in their terrior or region.
I see this light shining all the way from Prato, Tuscany, Italy. Her name is Silvia Vannucci and the winery is Piaggia. After tasting through 3 of the 5 wines made by the 20 hectare estate, and literally sobbing tears of joy through all 3, I decided to reach out to Silvia via email- in Italian of course! Here’s an excerpt from the letter (translated to English):
“…Your efforts show love and complete dedication to the vineyards, the final product, and every step in between. In over three decades in this business, I’ve rarely come by producers that have a pure gift. You have this gift. I can see these wines are made in vineyard first, and every last attention to detail is paid the honest respect to the land, the sunshine, the rain, the soil, and all thereafter. Pure love and lightning in a bottle. Your wines are sublime and indelible… Thank you!”
I asked her for a short quote simply asking her to describe her passion. She replied, also in Italian:
” I believe in the Carmignano terroir and this is why I want to develop and refine what I call “absolute quality”, a concept of perfection where my wines can always be expressed at the levels of the greatest and most prestigious wines in the world. ” Silvia Vannucci
The quality here is undeniable and quite accessible to both new world and old world sensibilities. The mere fact that she is producing one of the only pure varietal expressions of Cabernet Franc (Poggio di’Colli) in the entire region is a testament to the bravada Silvia tastefully demands and curates in every step of the wine making process. What’s inside of these bottle is pure magic in live time. The Carmignano’s intensity states a very clear purpose of someone who is driven to make the best wine in the region while expressing the grace of this land that has a very deep winemaking tradition. Carmingnano is D.O.C.G and is one of the oldest protected wine appellations in the world and precedes France’s A.O.C. system by more than two centuries!
In Vino Veritas,
Josh, Assistant Manager
Here are three wines that we just absolutely adore (Click to Purchase).
Piaggia Pietranera 2018 $33.99, 80% Sangiovese 20% Cabernet Franc
100% estate-grown Sangiovese cultivated in the Pietranera cru at 250 meters above sea level in clay and galestro soils. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel using indigenous yeasts. Maceration occurs over the course of 18-20 days, followed by aging in used French oak barrels for 3 months. Wine rests in bottle for 6 months prior to release.
Piaggia Carmignano Riserva 2016 D.O.C.G $57.99, 70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc (the French varieties were propagated from cuttings made at Chateau Lafite Rothschild in Pauillac).
The Carmignano Riserva is the flagship wine of Piaggia, first made by Mauro Vannucci in 1991. All of the grapes are from the family’s 50 year old vines in 2.5 hectares in the Piaggia cru near Pogetto, over clay and galestro soils on a south-west facing exposure at 250 meters above sea level. Made from Fermentation on the skins lasts up to 4 weeks with indigenous yeasts. Aging occurs in French oak (no more than 10% new) for 24 months. The wine is racked occasionally during aging but is otherwise unfined and unfiltered prior to bottling. The wine rests six months in bottle before release. Approximately 2500 cases produced annually.
Poggio de’Colli 2016 $70.99, 100% Cabernet Franc
A selection of the best Cabernet Franc from 15 year old vines in the Poggio de’ Colli cru vineyard at 250 meters above sea level. Fermentation with indigenous yeast takes place in open top wood fermenters, with manually punch downs and pump overs for two weeks. Aged 12 months in oak and at least 6 months in bottle prior to release. Approximately 800 cases produced annually.
Tuscan dried meats and cheeses: Prato Mortadella, Salame-Toscano, Accasciato, Pecorino-Toscano