Tuscany: Casa Emma Chianti Classico Riserva 2001
“Chiaroscuro” is an art term relating to the effect of contrasting light and dark. The Casa Emma Chianti Classico Riserva 2001 captures the idea perfectly, showing contrasting “chiaroscuro” light and dark flavors that give a dimension of wholeness and volume to the wine, and a character as elegant as the Toscana landscape.
Note: To see an example of chiaroscuro, do an Image search on Google / Yahoo for “Giovanni Baglione, Sacred Love Versus Profane Love”.
Run by the Bucalossi family, the Casa Emma winery is located in the area of San Donato in Poggio. The territory contains many hills in a somewhat rugged woodland. Rain and snow characterize winter followed by a mild spring and a typical hot, dry Tuscan summer.
Interesting story: along with the universities of Florence and Modena,the family has created the Chianti Botanical Park – in Italian, Il Parco Botanico del Chianti – an area of 5 hectares dedicated to preserve and study flowers and trees of the Chianti zone. The park is open to the public for guided visits. How cool is that?
The Casa Emma site, at 420 meters elevation, sees a slightly longer growing season which, along with aromatic influence from the black malvasia (5%) and typically scented sangiovese (95%), confers upong the wine an intoxicating perfume of Tuscan botanicals. Of the 34 hectares land, 21 are under vineyard planting attributed primarily to Sangiovese, along with 3 hectares to Merlot and small swaths to Malvasia and Canaiolo. Olive trees (3 hectares) and the Botanical Park (5 hectares) round out the rest of those 34 Casa Emma hectares. Spurred Cordon is the growing system of choice at the estate.
Maturation takes place over 24 months in 500 litre French oak barrels, then 1 year of further refinement in bottle.
Sense of touch is one of this wine’s most provocative characteristics – sensual and soft in the mouth and on the finish.
Clearly a producer who cares about super grape quality.
Vintage Note: 2001, an outstanding year in Tuscany with wines generally maturing on the early side.
Food pairing suggestions: roast / grilled meats (steak, pork loin, chicken if roasted), game meats ( I like wild boar, “cinghiale” in Italian, as well as duck, rabbit, quail, partridge), Tuscan white beans with sausage sage and rosemary, pappardelle with meat sauce (with rabbit is exceptional), pecorino toscano cheese, cured meats