CAPARZO, BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
TUSCANY, ITALY 2018
Why Buy: A quintet of characteristically brilliant Brunellos — including two 96-pointers and a 95-pointer, and all with some age on them — from one of the OGs of Brunello, the great Caparzo, and a thrilling masterclass in what this powerhouse varietal is supposed to be.
What They're Saying: Of the 96-point Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2017, only 200 cases of which were imported, Wine Spectator wrote, "A round, succulent Brunello penetrated by a beam of bright cherry," with "dense, dusty tannins" and "terrific balance and length." James Suckling was just as enamored of the 96-point Brunello di Montalcino 'La Casa' DOCG 2018, with grapes drawn from the famed La Casa cru — a "powerful" wine with "superbly integrated" tannins that, at the same time, possesses a "transparency and clarity that gives it beauty." The critic hailed its "long, graceful finish," a quality it shares with the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2012; in a 95-point rave, Wine Enthusiast hailed its "lingering finish," along with "an elegant palate,” "smooth and savory" texture, and "fine-grained tannins."
The Story: Caparzo was among the original, pioneering crop of Brunello producers, launching in 1970, in the south of Montalcino. At that time, there were only thirteen estates in the region — a far cry from the present, when, for travelers as well as for collectors, touring the wineries has become an essential experience not merely of visiting Montalcino, but of visiting Italy. The vineyards of Carpazo are widely regarded as producing the finest Sangiovese in the region, thanks in no small part to their terroir, an optimal mix of high elevation (220-300 meters above sea level), varied micro-climates, and soils of sand and clay and shale. All of these traits are essential for the production of elegant, complex wines with strong potential for aging.
Our Tasting Notes: Without getting into descriptions of all five wines, we will say simply that Carpazo is the epitome of classic Brunello. Or, to put it another way: Brunello as it's meant to be. These are powerfully rich wines, but they're also balanced. You can't fail to note the intensity and concentration and weight on your palate, but at the same time there is a countervailing clarity. And a welcome liftedness, as well, courtesy of their freshness and energy.
What to Pair Them With: These are wines that call out for rich, savory preparations of game. But they're just at home in the company of slow-roasted dishes of pork and veal.
Fun Fact: Massimo Bracalente has been at the helm of the winemaking here for more than 25 years, and his nickname is testament to his vast reputation. Bracalente is known as "The Master of Sangiovese."
Our Guarantee: We always buy and source direct, so rest assured that your order will arrive in your hands with pristine provenance. Secure yours today!
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Winter 2023 (Dec. 21st - Mar. 20th, 2024). All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in AZ, CO, GA, KS, KY, MO, NC, NJ, NV, NY, or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Thursday, September 14th, 2023.