The miracle of Vinsanto wine
Names are almost never given by chance. Whether backed by a story, a legend, a shared experience or whatever the reason, there is almost always something behind the meaning of a name. There are many theories behind how the Tuscan Vinsanto got its name. There are those who say the name comes from a Franciscan friar who used it to cure the plague in the 1300s. Those who think it comes from the Greek “Xantos”, a passito wine originating from the island of Santorini. And one more likely theory is that Vinsanto got its name from its use in liturgical celebrations as Vinsanto translated means “holy wine”.
We like to think that the name Vinsanto has something to do with the “miracle” of its organoleptic characteristics. That of grapes left to dry on racks which create a robust, sumptuous, complex “meditation” wine. The winter in wine cellars is the perfect time for wine to slowly take its shape and body. And define all those lovely olfactory connotations Carpineto’s Vinsanto of Chianti is known for.
This is a wine that evokes the flavors and aromas of the Tuscan countryside – with its vineyards, its large farms, the manor houses and the ancient cellars where the smell of wine must is intimately linked to the memory of those who, like us, grew up among rows of vineyards and oak barrels. The aromas of this wine take us on a journey from past to present through the olfactory depth that lie in just one glass of Vinsanto. To the nose, the bouquet of Carpineto’s Vinsanto is ample and filled with notes of apricot, peach, white flowers, dried fruit, honey, walnut husk, and so on towards increasingly varied and profound sensations. The Vinsanto journey continues on the palate with sensations of elegance, softness and finesse. Each sip is fragrant with notes of balsamic and other nuances that satisfy aroma expectations.
But just how is such an intense and persistent wine born? First of all, it all starts with the grapes. As is often said, “Good wine is born in the vineyard”. Our work as contemporary winemakers have its roots in “farmer’s knowledge”, and the intimate relationship our agricultural generations have had with the land and ecosystems which inhabit it.
Another form of miracle is the simple beauty of the grapes drying on racks which is actually the first of many steps that allow the grapes to reach an adequate sugar content for this sweet wine. Once this step is complete, the winemaking process starts, which takes place in special barrels of reduced capacity. Here in Carpineto we separate the maturation process, part of the wine that matures in special containers called “caratelli”, made of chestnut wood. The second part of wine is placed in small oak barrels. Everything is then combined before bottling. In short, this is the process that sees the birth of one of the most popular Italian denominations in the world.
Our Vinsanto is truly among the most popular bottles that come out of our cellars. We have always strongly believed in the potential that the Chanti area offers when it comes to producing Vinsanto. This is why the production of our wine is done in limited quantities with grapes from our best vineyards, rigorously harvested by hand. Our last Vinsanto on the market dates back to the 1999 vintage, maturing over 15 years in casks. Great blends, very long aging, ample and deep persistence – these are characteristics that make our Vinsanto quite unique on the Tuscan wine scene.
As previously mentioned, our Vinsanto is a perfect “meditation wine” but it is also an ideal wine to pair with desserts, particularly typical Tuscan sweets – historic Tuscan cantuccini biscuits offer a match made in heaven. Other desserts which pair well with Vinsanto can be even sweeter such as the Sicilian cassata, the Neapolitan pastiera and the confectionery tradition of Northern Italy. Vinsanto’s wide and complex bouquet lend itself to an infinite variety of combinations, surprisingly even with cheeses. Try a glass of Vinsanto with a slice of blue cheese – this pairing will give you a sensational experience you will soon not forget.