Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Monday, 24 October 2011

European Wine Bloggers' Conference 2011 (#EWBC): Chianti trip – visit to Caparsa

Paolo Cianferoni

Barrels@the entrance to Caparsa

Paolo Cianferoni's Caparsa estate was the first visit on our last day (19th October 2011) in Chianti Classico. It was markedly different from all our other visits, which were to much larger estates than Paolo's 12 hectares of vines. He along with Badia a Coltibuono would fit most neatly into the 'natural wine' movement. I'm tempted to say that the two wines – the 2000 (24.50€) and 2007 Riservas (23€) were the most 'authentic' and least polished wines that we tasted during our three day trip.

The Cianferoni family bought the estate in 1965. Initially it was run by Paolo's father – Reginaldo Cianferoni – a professor of economics and politics at the University of Florence. Paolo now runs the estate organically. "We have been certified since 2005. My father used chemicals. I moved towards organic viticulture in stages. Organic viticulture encourages complexity, while the use of herbicides etc. simplifies wines. The problem with biodynamics is that it has a priest!"

Caparsa estate make only a Chianti Classico Riserva called Doccio a Matteo. Paolo explained: "We only bottle a third of our production making only a Riserva. 66% of our production is sold to large companies, so we have 20,000 bottles to sell. These are sold either locally or exported to small importers. If I had sell all 100,000 bottles I would have to change the whole structure."

The 2000 Doccio a Matteo has notes of sous bois with earthy hints – an unpolished character that would be enjoyable and easy to drink. The 2007 has vibrant fruit and is naturally more structured with firmer tannins than the 2000. Ideally it needs more time in bottle.

Paolo has his own blog.

Paolo has a very expressive face and hands (above and below)

One of Paolo's sons

Six vintages of the Riserva

View across the vineyards and the forests

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