As the age of organics moves forward and expands to all walks of life, I did some searching and decided to take the plunge into an organic wine. This is the first I have ever tasted made from organic grapes and using organic methods and, happy to say, I have tasted no difference. Over the years organic has been pretty much synonymous with tasteless or bland, but in this case, not so.
A real Chianti comes from the Tuscany region in Italy and is made primarily with the region’s favorite grape, sangiovese. By Italian law, a chianti must be at least 70% sangiovese, but higher priced blends will use even more. Other, lesser known varieties of grapes such as canaiolo and mammolo are infused in much lesser quantities to add an aroma of bitter cherries and red fruits, and prior to 2006 some white grapes were also used, a practice which is now forbidden.
The Sensi family began producing wine in 1895 when Pietro Sensi began selling his wines in the markets near Florence. Later, his sons, Vittorio and Armido, continued his business but expanded and delivered wine via horsecart to the houses in the surrounding countryside as well. Thus, the SENSI winery was established under the name of Fratelli Sensi. It was Vittorio’s sons, Pietro and Giovanni, who took the winery and the name to the next level and made it a staple throughout Tuscany and in 1987, Fratelli Sensi finally made it to the international market.
Through the years the mission of this winery has been to produce a high quality wine through personal sacrifice, goal setting and then taking small steps to achieve them. The culmination of this is the cutting edge technological plant where each phase of the winemaking process is scrutinized and monitored for quality and cleanliness to ensure a product of which great grandfather Pietro would not only approve, but would be proud of.
I found this wine to be a good, robust wine with a lot of flavor, nice tannins and an excellent aroma. However, if your tastes lean to the lighter side, this is not for you as I would describe it as heavy, not syrupy, but very rich tasting. The flavor will not get lost with a heavier meal like wild game or beef ribs, and it will definitely complement a Sunday gravy with both meatballs and braciole. The color is a very deep purple which almost seems to make the glass disappear. But when the light hits the glass just right it is a beautiful sight to behold with sunlight shading the bottom of the glass as it also serves to light up the top. Absolutely beautiful, as the glass beckons you to take a sip, sit back and savor the experience.
The grapes of Campoluce are grown without the benefit (?) of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The harvest develops in an entirely spontaneous manner with a focus on limiting stress to the vines. And although the growing process is closely monitored, this is largely a mentality which will “let nature take its course.”
Ratings vary with WINEMAG awarding the 2016 vintage a respectable 86 points while VIVINO rated it at 3.5 stars, also respectable. As I said, it is bold, dry and slightly acidic with hints of strawberry, plum and blackberry. I guess what I liked about it the most other than the fact that it is organic, is that you taste a good, cared for and well-harvested grape.
I also feel the need to mention a bit of wine trivia. There was a time when Chianti was only sold in squat glass bottles wrapped in straw which gave it the look of a poor man’s blend. Now though, it is the most consumed wine in Italy and is considered world class as many vintners have made it their flagship wine. Changing tastes have allowed CHIANTI to become more popular, so production has increased while the value and taste have remained constant. SENSI CAMPOLUCE falls into the $13 to $17 range and I do consider it well worth trying