We were going to a special wine tasting at my local wine shop, The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. And yes, I said we, as my Bride was going along as she really enjoys the shop, the owners, his family and the staff; and she always feels comfortable. We were going to a tasting conducted by the proprietor and winemaker of Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie, Riccardo Campinotti and we had to book a time slot, as this was going to be a very busy tasting and the shop is not that big, especially when you add in, all the additional cases of wines for this tasting. And of course, I would be breaking up the flow, by taking my photographs and notes. Of course, not only were restaurants and wine shops affected by bug of mysterious origins, the airline industry was also affected and Riccardo Campinotti was stuck somewhere in an airport, and never made it to the tasting. The owner of the import company was up north in Michigan on holiday with his family, and he had to drive down that morning to assist with the tasting. The Fine Wine Source posted some photos of Riccardo Campinotti, just to keep the feeling of the moment.
Le Ragnaie is based in Montalcino, Tuscany and the estate is dedicated solely to growing Sangiovese grapes, which is the most planted grape in Italy and has a major home in Montalcino. The estate is now twenty-eight hectares and has four distinct vineyards and the winery is one of the leaders of the region for creating cuvee-style wines taking advantage of the distinct vineyard qualities, very Burgundian in concept. It is also enjoying some of the highest altitudes in Montalcino, in fact some are higher than the allowed height of six-hundred-meters, but he is working on that. The original winery was started in 1991 in a much smaller estate with one of the original agritourism farmhouses and Riccardo took over and started expanding in 2002. He was considered more daring and innovative and he has slowly mixed tradition with modernism. He claims that he originally wanted to make big jammy style wines (to please the critics), but now has gone for a more elegant wine, that he would rather drink.
The first wine of the tasting was Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie “Troncone” Rosso Toscana IGT 2019 and the winery is based in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy. The winery uses cement vats for maceration and fermentation which can last up to forty days. They then use Slovenian and Allier Oak barrels for aging. The Troncone wine showcases the youngest vines, and is a way to observe the progress of the vines. The Rosso wine is aged in barrels for nine months and then stored in bottles for another couple of months. Toscana Rosso IGT is the most popular designations for the region, and the winemakers can enjoy and try different techniques using it. The wine had a nice garnet color with notes of red fruit. On the palate the flavor of red cherries and raspberries with softer tannins and a medium finish of terroir. A softer Sangiovese wine that would work very well with some lighter pasta dishes.