Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Meeting winemaker Caterina Sacchet from Carpineto winery in Tuscany

Caterina Sacchet from Carpineto
Caterina Sacchet and me
My first stop of the night at the Easter Seals Winter Wine Extravaganza was the Carpineto winery to meet the winemaker herself, Caterina Sacchet. Luckily, Caterina grew up in this business in the heart of the Chianti Classico territory in Tuscany in the area of Greve, but the Carpineto winery also has vineyard sights in Montepulciano and the Maremma. Carpineto was established in 1967 and is a partnership between Giovanni Sacchet and Antonio Zaccheo. Caterina graduated in 2008 and became the winemaker for her family's estate after also having worked in the Languedoc in France and Australia as well. About 95% of their wine production are reds and the majority of them are aged at least 3 years or more. Their production is about 2.5 million bottled annually and shipped all over the world. They pride themselves on their sustainable, low impact farming techniques with renewable energy and biodiversity.

I used to sell and recommend these wines back in the day when I worked for Martiginetti's in the North End of Boston, but we only had a small representation of their wines so I'm glad I had the chance to explore some of the others they produce, especially the 2008 Brunello and 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva. I tried everything from their Dogajolo line of wines, which they call their Baby Super Tuscans, including the Dogajolo white, which was a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Grechetto and 30 % Sauvignon Blanc which had nice fruit, but was well balanced by acidity. Then I sampled their Rosso blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet, that was very smooth and is more of your easy drinking red. Caterina didn't have a favorite, but would enjoy this line and the Chianti Classico under the Carpineto label as her every day wines and would save the Vino Nobile and the Brunello for more special celebrations, as I would do the same and do currently do myself with my own personal Italian collection I’m aging. The Chianti Classico's, especially the Riserva, were full bodied, drier with supple tannins and a nice long finish.

Topping the list for me was their 2008 Brunello di Montalcino, which was aged 4 years in barrel and 1 year in the bottle and was a lot smoother than the Vino Nobile due partially to the longer aging process, but they are also grown in two separate areas of this more southern part of Tuscany. The Vino Nobile is produced out of Montepulciano, where the Brunello is produced out of Montalcino. I found the 2007 Vino Nobile to be a beautiful expression of this varietal with elegant texture, nice red fruit with some spice and a great finish. Both of these towns are great by the way if you ever go to visit this region. Back in the day I wouldn’t have needed a reservation to taste at some of these wineries, but with these wines becoming more wide known, which is great for the producers, you have to make reservations in advance.

Tuscany vineyards
Hills of Tuscany

Carpineto is an internationally, well-respected wine producer with its roots initially in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, but has proven that they can produce quality wines in other territories of Tuscany. It’s great to see family members remain loyal to carrying on the traditions established and continue to develop upon the brand and produce top quality wines. I look forward to following this winery for years to come and hopefully visiting them in my future trips back to the motherland.