Super Value, Super Tuscan

Under The Tuscan Sun

La Calonica Sunset

My first trip to Cortona. Yes I know I was about 10 years younger and I had different glasses but I will never forget that visit to La Calonica winery and the picture taken by Esther Cattani the wife of Fernando and mother of Giovanni right as the Tuscan Sun was going down. What a perfect backdrop! Cortona was where the film “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed. It’s one of my favorite places in Italy. The Cattanis are world class people and world class winemakers.

The History Of La Calonica

Nadia CortonaAbove is Nadia Galati who is the Florida Importer And Distributor of these great wines. It was on my second visit to La Calonica when I snapped this picture of her above in the vineyards.

The Agricultural Estate La Calonica was founded in 1973 by the Cattani family who still supervises directly its production and sales, and covers about 45 hectares on the border of the provinces of Siena and Arezzo, between the Municipalities of Montepulciano and Cortona on a crest at about 350 meters above sea level, not far from Lake Trasimeno. The influence of Lake Trasimeno offers mild winters and summers that are not too dry, allowing the vines to have a regular vegetative cycle

2015 La Calonica “Calcinaio” Cortona

La Calonica Calcinaio Front

La Calonica Calcinaio Rear

Calcinaio … Probably named after a famous 15th Century Church that was built by shoemakers and it is smack in the middle of Cortona. Santa Maria delle Grazie al Calcinaio a beautiful piece of architecture and a must see in Cortona. 

This Cortona Sangiovese D.O.C is for me a Super Tuscan. I remember when I tasted out of Barrel with Giovanni Cattani the Syrah on it’s own that is blended in this wine, I told him “You have to bottle this amazing expression of Syrah on its own”, which he did later on. That wine is called “ARNTH” This wine has 85% Sangiovese blended with that 15% Syrah.

The grapes are selected and collected  totally by hand. The must (Skins seed and stems) with juice ferments in stainless steel tanks. The maceration is longer than 10 days at a temperature of 26 ° C.  After fermentation the blend is kept a while longer in stainless steel and then spends a minimal amount of ageing time in Medium to Large Sized Oak Barrels.  If you start off with the right terroir, the right vineyards, good grapes…it doesn’t have to get much more complicated to produce great wine than this!

My Review

La Calonica Calcinaio Glass Up

La Calonica Calcinaio Glass Side

13% ABV. The wine is a dark ruby color in the glass. Darker obviously in color than a 100% Sangiovese due to the addition of the 15% Dark Syrah. Aromatically it is floral but blind I could tell this had that earthy, morello  cherry that tells me I am in Tuscany. It is very distinct on the nose. On the palate a juicy but medium body frame with wild forest berries ,some tart cherry with the addition of the Syrah Elements which gave me Black Fruits, Plum and lots and lots of Dark Bitter Chocolaty tannin and spice. The wine sails on to a really nice integrated tannic finish. I have tasted other La Calonica made Sangiovese Blends with Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot but I could pick this Calcinaio out of  a lineup because I personally love their Syrah. This is a solid 87 point effort and a wine that would pair well with a variety of foods including just a slice of pizza or with just good company and no food. Easy, drinking.

My Summary

It’s still amazes me how diverse Italy is with wine. Most consumers only know Chianti and Pinot Grigio. This is Estate Bottled D.O.C. Sangiovese mixed with Syrah at  retail price of $12.99 and just boggles my mind that the average  Wine Enthusiast thinks the more they spend the better the wine. This is one super value at this price point and if you like Berries, Earth, Chocolate, Cherries and an everyday dinner wine or sipper…buy this wine and picture yourself “Under The Tuscan Sun”

Grape-fully yours, Larry

Father And Son Fernando And Giovanni

La Calonica Father and son




2 thoughts on “Super Value, Super Tuscan

  1. Nice article

    Mike McBride
    Regional Vice President
    ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

    8989 S Orange Ave Orlando FL 32824 | 407-851-0000 ext. 2234 |

    Always Be Celebrating

    Please celebrate responsibly.

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