Founded in the mid-1960s by Primo Pacenti, a local farmer, Canalicchio di Sopra has grown to become one of the jewels in the Tuscan crown.
The wines made from the estate’s vineyards located in Montalcino, one of Italy’s finest and most famous wine regions, are today some of the best in the world.
At the heart of the estate, currently run by Primo’s grandson, Francesco Ripaccioli, are 16 hectares of Brunello vines, 10 hectares in Canalicchio and 6 in Gode di Montosoli.
The different exposures (cooler climate and higher altitude) and the differences in soils (clay in Canalicchio and rock in Montosoli) produce different sangiovese grapes where balance and power compensate, resulting in classically elegant Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino wines with a distinctive expression of what sangiovese can be: light yet complex with polished tannins and depth that are like velvet on the palate. I was lucky enough to recently taste some older vintages of Canalicchio di Sopra’s brunellos and was rightly blown away. While each one was in it’s own way simply delicious, the overriding element over the years was truly the winemaker’s pursuit of elegance.
The Brunellos are voluptuous, lots of plum and blackberries, full bodied with a long, juicy finish. While they drink deliciously now, you can age them easily and they will probably be even better in a few years. The Rossos are playful and cheeky, bright and succulent with depth and roundness and lots of personality. Canalicchio di Sopra is not yet organic, but well on their way to being so. Original members of the Conzorzio Brunello di Montalcino, the wines produced by this stylistically traditional vineyard have become the calling card for the wines produced by the region. If you have not yet tasted them, you owe it to yourself to do so.
At Eli’s List we have:
Canalicchio di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino 2012
Brunello di Montalcino