A treat for me to visit Siena again, after living there for only a month. How is it possible that I could have forgotten some of its beauty? Once again my head was tilted skyward admiring the architecture, as if I’d never seen it before. Breathtaking, even if we were frozen by intermittent wind and rain.
We contacted Davide Bonucci of EnoClub Siena, to see if there were any wine tastings while we were in town. Luckily, there was a tasting from a local vintner at Cantina Del Brunello. With good directions (needed in the maze of Siena’s streets) we found the enoteca, and jumped out of the cold to be greeted by Davide and the enoteca’s owner, Federico Pieri. Several people were already there tasting the red wines from this Gaiole in Chianti producer. Filippo Cintolesi is a physics grad from Oxford, now fulfilling his dream of creating his own wines. All backgrounds in the art of wine-making! The traditions passed down from generations, now coupled with Italian wine/food guru’s schooled in everything from micro-biology to enology.
While peppering Federico with questions on Tuscan wines, he mentioned the Bolgheri region. Did he sense my apprehension for Chianti Classico? Perhaps. The Bolgheri region hit the world stage several decades ago, with it’s Bordeaux style reds…. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. The Bolgheri wines were the beginning of the “Super Tuscans”, and over the past 20 years has been a “new” region for Italian wine. Closer to the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west part of Tuscany, the wines are not derived from the traditional Sangiovese grape of Chianti. Terrior is king, and the grapes used to blend the Super Tuscans are given some latitude, although now controlled by the Bolgheri DOC’s. We bought a bottle, and enjoyed it over dinner at a local trattoria. Not the friendliest trattoria in Siena, but at least the Pici was good. Thanks to Davide and Federico for the education, hospitality and warmth! Salute!