2016-C Podere Sapaio 'Volpolo' Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy (750ml)
Massimo Piccin founded Podere Sapaio in Bolgheri near the coast of Tuscany in 1999, and today, the estate covers 62 acres under vine which are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
While Massimo only produces two wines, they actually start out as 25 different wines considering he vinifies and ages each varietal from individual plots separately before he puts the final blends together. Without any formal winemaking education, Massimo has earned quite a reputation for producing excellent, consistent, Tre Bicchieri-winning wines and is equally admired for his dedication to responsibly farming his vineyards organically. His two Bordeaux varietal blends include 'Sapaio' Bolgheri Superiore and 'Volpolo' Bolgheri Rosso D.O.C., which we are delighted to feature in this month’s club! Of the only two wines that Podere Sapaio makes, this ‘Volpolo’ is the more approachable and enjoyable in its youth. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Petit Verdot, it was aged for 16 months in a combination of new and used French oak barriques as well as larger casks, with another four months of aging in bottle before release. The oak aging contributes aromas of cedar and sandalwood which are met with notes of black currant, blueberry, black peppercorn, tobacco and ash on the fairly full-bodied and concentrated palate. There is some decent structure here with dusty and slightly chewy tannins, yet the wine still feels polished and balanced thanks to its juicy acidity. We recommend pairing with something rich and tannin-taming like a peppercorn-rubbed porterhouse steak!