In the video above, Chef Massimo Capra talks about his most memorable wine during a truffle dinner on a hillside in Italy. He also talks about the Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival and a special wine on auction, Tignanello.
You can watch part one of our wine chat here.
Antinori 2009 Tignanello
Massimo has chosen to taste one of the wines that will be featured at the Grand Cru Festival Auction this year: Tignanello is produced exclusively from the vineyard of the same name, a parcel of some 140 acres (57 hectares) at 1150-1325 feet (350-400 meters) above sea level at the Tignanello Estate with rocky soils and a south-western exposure. It was probably the first Sangiovese wine to be aged in small oak barrels, the first modern red wine to use international varieties such as Cabernet in the blend, and among the first red wines from the Chianti Classico area to be produced without white grapes.
The wine, originally called “Chianti Classico Riserva vigneto Tignanello” (a Chianti Classico Riserva from the Tignanello vineyard), was produced for the first time from a single vineyard parcel in 1970, when the blend contained 20% of Canaiolo and 5% of Trebbiano and Malvasia, with the wine aged in small oak barrels.
In 1971 it became a Tuscan red table wine rather than a Chianti Classico, and was called Tignanello; in the 1975 vintage the white grapes were totally eliminated from the blend. Ever since 1982, the blend has been the one currently used – 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc.
Tignanello is bottled only in favorable vintages, and was not produced in 1972, 1973,1974, 1976, 1984, 1992, and 2002.
A very intense ruby red in color with purple highlights, the wine is immediately and suavely convincing in its aromas and harmonious in its expression of the characteristics of Chianti Classico as a zone. The nose is redolent of licorice, violets, and cherries under spirits together with notes of vanilla, chocolate, and sweet toasty oak, all of excellent intensity and sweet elegance. Fresh and savory flavors on the persistent finish and aftertaste add length and a convincing finesse.
Wine and Truffles in Italy: Chef Massimo Capra
Natalie: We’re back with chef Massimo Capra and we’re talking about this year’s Grand Culinary Festival, Wine Festival in Toronto, the big fund raiser for medical research in Canada. Massimo, tell me little bit about the big wine auction that’s a part of this fundraiser.
Massimo: That’s right.
Natalie: Give us a sense of how many wines and what kind of wines are on auction?
Massimo.: There is always a great amount of wine. The best part is that all of the restaurateurs jump to it because they can really get some good wines out of it. It’s also a good opportunity for private people and individuals to go there and ….
Natalie: To collect?
Massimo. Yes, exactly, they bid on wines with the knowledge that all of the funds are going to be used for other causes, not just profit. It’s a great event, right?
Natalie: I’ve heard they are premium wines, the top of the top from Italy, France and from different regions.
Massimo: Exactly, when you’re talking about the Halpern wine group, they’re only the top. Those guys are tremendous. They can really put together a great event and a great auction. There’s a lot of excitement about that.
Natalie: You have one of the special wines that is going to be auctioned this year. You can hold it up so we can see it.
Massimo: I have. There’s the wine that everybody talks about. It’s the famous Tignanello. This is a 2009 and it is a very finicky wine. Some years they don’t produce it because they’re not good enough.
Natalie: So it’s like Port, it’s has to be a best vintage.
Massimo: You know that, right? I’m going to pour some.
Natalie: Here, I’ve got a glass of Antinori wine because Antinori makes Tignanello. This is a more modest Chianti for $20. I think the Tignanello goes for around $200, somewhere around that price range if you buy it retail.
Massimo: That’s right, it depends on the vintage, on the year. There are some years that are better and there are some years that are not so valued but the reality is that it’s always a great wine,
Massimo: Great wine. It works very well with a variety of food and cuisine.
Natalie: What would you pair it with?
Massimo: Tuscan cuisine … I mean this is the wine that goes well with fiorentina, the braised meats, the wild boar and all of the foods that Tuscany, in general, is known for.
Massimo: It’s a good table wine. My father had a hard time drinking water. That makes rusty stuff like rusty nails, he used to say. So he only drank wine.
Natalie: Good man.
Massimo: He was fine, he was fine.
Natalie: So this Tignanello will be at the auction so people can collect this wine if they’ve got a vertical, meaning past vintages, or just want to try what they call the super tuscans or turbo tuscans.
Massimo: Turbo Tuscans, yes, that’s right. That’s what everybody wants now.
Natalie: What do you smell? When you smell this, what do you get from your Tignanello?
Massimo: I don’t know but if you want I can email you some of this one.
Natalie: He’s going to Email me the wine.
Massimo: We’ll email you the wine. That’s the next part of technology.
Natalie: That would be great.
Massimo: I smell the grape, I smell the beauty of the land. It’s absolutely delicious. It’s a good drinking wine even with just a nugget of cheese or two.
Natalie: Yes, something simple. I find that, too.
Massimo: I’m like a big mouse.
Natalie: Big mouse … The more complex the wine sometimes the simpler the food.
Massimo: That’s exactly the point. My theory is when I go to Italy, especially, I tend to eat local food only; local food accompanied by local wines. But then we always end up with a special dinner. When you have a bottle like this, you need to enjoy the wine itself.
Massimo: You just have to enjoy the wine. I encourage everybody to just enjoy the wine because this is a complete package. You don’t need to put too much to it. A little bit of cheese and a little bit of bread and that’s it. It’s just heaven, you can talk for hours.
Natalie: Tell us about the most memorable wine you ever had? Recall one of the best wines, just pick one from Italy.
Massimo: I was just in Piedmont and I had great Barbaresco that was absolutely delicious. I had it in the right setting, at the right time of the year with the right food. It was just magical.
Natalie: Where were you? What was the setting?
Massimo: I was in Alba.
Massimo: Actually I was in Alba, on the hills in the beautiful little resort, restaurant and hotel . These people did not know the meaning of stop with the truffles. We had five courses of truffles and we had wines that were just magic with the whole experience. Then again we were sitting at a table overlooking the valley with a little bit of mist, late October. It was this time last year. It was just incredible. I was there with my wife so the pleasure just kept piling on and piling on and piling on.
Natalie: That’s what it should be.
Massimo: Yes, I’m lucky my family is not bigger today.
Natalie: Well Massimo, thank you so much for talking to us about the festival and the wine. That sounds like piling on pleasures. Anybody who’s going to the festival this year will certainly experience that. With this video, we’ll post all the contact details of how to get tickets to the dinners and how to participate in the auction. So, I raise my glass to you and the good work you’re doing with this festival fundraiser.
Natalie: Cheers Massimo.
Massimo: It’s an absolute pleasure, thank you!