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Tuscan Wine Discoveries (Part 2)

Here are two more wineries to take notice of from my Buy Wine exploits in Florence, Italy. Again, like Capezzana in my last column, both these wineries below are also looking for Philippine wine importers.

Fattoria Casaloste

Region:  Chianti Classico. Chianti Classico is one of Tuscany’s most renowned wine regions. It covers 71,800 hectares, located in the center of the Tuscany Region and includes both the provinces of Florence and Siena. Chianti Classico was originally a sub-denomination of Chianti, and in 1996, Chianti Classico got its own regional DOCG.
Emilia d’Orsi of Fattoria Casaloste from Chianti Classico
Winery: Casaloste is a small winery that started in 1993 and is doing around 55,000 bottles annual production. The winery is run by the husband and wife team of Giovanni Battista d’Orsi (Oenologist and Agronomist) and Emilia d’Orsi (Sales and Marketing), with a modest complement of five employees. 95 percent of the wines made are sold to export. Despite its relatively small size, Casaloste wines have gotten very good reviews from such notable publications as Wine Spectator, Decanter and Wine Advocate. Aside from the wine business, Casaloste is also into Agriturismo, renting out apartments in their estate with “killer” panorama of the Tuscan countryside. Agriturismo is a thriving business especially in Tuscany and I will write a column on this in the coming weeks. Emilia d’Orsi was in Buy Wine and guided my wine tasting of their excellent wines.  Tasting Notes on New Releases: 2009 Chianti Classico DOCG – `an 85 percent Sangiovese wine; fresh berries, spicy, grassy, still not very refined; a very decent entry level wine from this winery’; projected retail price P900.00/bottle 2008 Chianto Classico Riserva DOCG - ` a 90 percent Sangiovese and 10 percent Merlot blend; lovely inviting nose, cassis, coffee bean, quite flinty and herbal, but with a structured finish’; projected retail price P1,500.00/bottle Don Vincenzo `Single Vineyard’  2008 Chianti Riserva DOCG - `a single vineyard wine with only 3,000 bottles production; chocolate nose, thick and spicy, long and a lot of minerals on the mid palate and finish’; projected retail price P2,600.00/bottle Inversus 2007 IGT Toscana - `the name means Reverse in Latin, and the level smartly played on this; lovely pruney nose, dark berries, thick and viscous, long with bitter sweet tannins, a very flinty finish’; projected retail price P2,600.00/bottle Contact Information for Importers: Contact Person: Emilia d’Orsi Email Address: emilia@casaloste.com Website: www.casaloste.com

Diadema

Diadema owner Alberto Giannotti showing a Diadema Champagne which is private-labeled from France
Region/Sub-region: Impruneta. Impruneta is a town and commune in the province of Florence in Tuscany, and is known for its fine production of terracotta. Terracotta is made from local clay, and has a red-colored finish used for creating small tiles to garden vases, to statues. Wines made in Impruneta fall under the Chianti Colli Fiorentini DOCG classification. Winery: Diadema was created by Alberto Giannotti, whose family has owned Frattoria Villa l’Olmo in Impruneta since 1735.  The name diadem is a type of crown, specifically an ornamental headband worn by Eastern monarchs and others as a badge of royalty, or is known more commonly as tiara. While this winery can make DOCG wines if they want too, they went for the IGTs for more freedom in winemaking. But the ultimate selling point still lies in its association with the world famous Swarovski crystals, which are found on its premium wine range label, eponymously called Diadema. This was one label that caught my attention amidst the hundred plus tables in Buy Wine, and Mr. Giannotti was extremely nice to let me taste the wines. Prices are not cheap, but where else can you get wine bottles that contain Swarovski crystals? Tasting Notes on New Releases: D’Amare Bianco 2011 IGT Toscana – `a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier; aromatic, limey, very palatable and easy; made with aluminum label and comes with a free heart-shaped keychain’; projected retail price P1,100.00/bottle D’Amare Rosso 2009 IGT Toscana - `a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; blackberry, herbal, meaty, with a lot of bacon fat on the finish; same label and free heart-shaped keychain like its White counterpart’; projected retail price P1,600.00/bottle Diadema Bianco 2011 IGT Toscana - `a blend of 40 percent Sauvignon Blanc, 40 percent Chardonnay and 20 percent Viognier – quite unusual blend; gooseberry nose, long and flavorful, with nice gun flint finish; made with Swarovski crystals in the label’; projected retail price P2,800.00/bottle Diadema Rosso 2008 IGT Toscana - `a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; deep and long nose, blueberry essence, nice acidity, luscious berry at the end; made with Swarovski crystals in the label’; projected retail price P3,200.00/bottle Contact Information for Importers: Contact Person: Alberto Giannotti Email Address: ag@diadema-wine.com Website: www.diadema-wine.com
The gorgeous Diadema Wines with sparkling Swarovski crystals
Are IGTs or Super Tuscans Faddish or Here to Stay? The above wineries I featured are part of the diversity and creativity seen in Tuscany now. While the traditional style like Chianti Classico DOCG, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Carmignano DOCG etc. still prevails, the strong entry of pricey IGTs, and wineries trying to cash in on this `new world-ish’ style are at its highest level now. Only time can tell if Tuscan wines will be enjoyed for its traditional `classic’ styles, or its adaption to the clamor for international varietals through its IGT wines. ----- For comments, inquiries, wine event coverage, wine consultancy and other wine related concerns, please e-mail me at protegeinc@yahoo.com. I am a proud member of the Federation Internationale des Journalists et Ecrivains du Vin et des Spiritueux or FIJEV since 2010. You can also follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/sherwinlao.
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