It’s a particular period we are all going through right now. With the stay at home orders that has been going on for months, there is much more time to dwell in the kitchen, take out the lost creativity and whip up appetizing dishes that can pair well with some bottles of wines that are waiting to be tasted in the cellar.
I am dedicating this post to five wines produced by Sensi, a winemaking family since 1890 that maintains two farms in Tuscany: Tenuta del Poggio and Fattoria di Calappiano where they have 100 hectares of vineyards and olive groves. Let’s start with the beautiful setting of Fattoria di Calappiano, a Tuscan villa built in the Renaissance period by the Grand Duke I De Medici. It was built as one of the first models of wine-growing and producing farmhouses in Tuscany. At the 500-year old estate, the Sensi family has been producing and bottling wines since 1890 and another wine estate in Tuscany, the Tenuta del Poggio. With a family history of 125 years of wine production and now on its fourth generation of family Tuscan winemakers, Sensi Vini continues to grow globally with the excellent quality stamped on their wines.
Sensi started as a small-scale activity when Pietro Sensi, the patriarch of the family, started selling the wines he made to the markets. Pietro’s sons, Vittorio and Armido continued the activity and founded Fratelli Sensi. However the scope of their business became bigger as they started delivering their wines to the surrounding countryside and to the city of Florence. Third generation Pietro and Giovanni, Vittorio’s sons, continued on and made their wines even more sought after throughout the region of Tuscany. Massimo, Roberta and the late Marco from the fourth generation of the family joined the company in 1987 who then modernized their wine making techniques, technology and farming, thus, improving the quality of the wines to a greater level. Sensi expanded their reach to international markets. Currently, they enlist the help of producers in a number of principal wine making areas in Tuscany for the production of Tuscan wines, all closely followed by the family oenologist Lorenzo Landi.
Tua Rosa Toscana Rosato IGT 2019
Made with 100% Sangiovese grapes that were cultivated in sandy and marly arenaceous soil rich in marine fossils and skeletal fraction at 100 m.a.s.l. Tua Rosa is aged in stainless steel which permits the grape variety’s fruity and floral aromas to dominate the senses. Hints of grapefruit, citrus fruit, fresh aromatic herbs and rose permeates the nose while palate is graced with freshness and delicate aromas of fruits and flowers as it ends with hints of peach, sweet plums and blackcurrant. It is the kind of wine that calls for raw or simply cooked seafood.
18K Pinot Noir Rosè
Made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes cultivated in alluvial soil rich in clay, silt and marine fossils between 50 to 150 m.a.s.l. in the Triveneto area. The maceration is brief with destemmed grapes and must then fermented with selected yeasts at a controlled temperature. The second fermentation is done with the tank method using selected yeasts then aged on fine lees with batonnage. The perlage is fine with a cherry rose color. The nose is elegant with a lot of lively red berries and floral notes. Good balance and pleasant to drink. Paired with fried tuna balls (polpette di tonno) and quickly tossed fresh tomatoes and fresh basil in extra virgin olive oil.
Lungarno IGT Toscana
Made with a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Colorino cultivated in the area between Vinci and Florence on loose marly arenaceous soil consisting of clayey and sandy shale and limestone. Half of the wine was aged in medium-toasted new French barrique for about 12 months then another 12 months in the bottle. It has a full red ruby in color with an intense and complex nose that expresses ripe red plums, amarena cherries, sweet spices, fresh herbs, violets and smoke. Elegant and long persistence in the mouth. A full-bodied wine, it went well with the pairing of a platter of different kinds of aged cheese, prosciutto crudo and caper berries.
Campoluce Chianti Biologico DOCG 2018
Made with 70% Sangiovese and other varieties allowable in the Chianti denomination cultivated organically (no use of pesticides, fertilizers, synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms) in a hilly terrain composed of arenaceous and chalky-marly soil with sandy schists at an altitude not exceeding 700 m.a.s.l. in the areas between Florence and Vinci. Aging takes place in stainless steel tanks for six months with micro-oxygenation and on fine lees. Limpid deep ruby red in color with floral, spicy and fruity aromas with notes of black cherries. Balanced, fresh, smooth and can already be enjoyed young. It was paired with a platter rich in flavors for lunch: grilled chicken marinated overnight in annatto oil (annatto seeds heated with extra virgin olive oil), calamondin lemons, cider vinegar, lemongrass and garlic, then accompanied with lemon-soy sauce fried rice and grilled aubergine salad.
Vinciano Riserva Chianti DOCG 2015
Made with a blend of 80% Sangiovese grapes and another 20% of other varieties allowable in the Chianti denomination cultivated in a hilly terrain composed of loose marly arenaceous soil rich in marine fossils and skeletal fraction in the area between Vinci and Florence. Maturation takes place in medium-toasted French oak tonneau for 12 to 14 months, 35% of which are new then another 12 months in the bottle. This Chianti Riserva is a full-bodied wine with a deep ruby red color displaying intensity and complexity in the nose with dominant fruity aromas of mature dark plums and cherries, wood underbrush, and spices with hints of pepper. The palate is rewarded with equilibrated flavors, freshness and long finish. It’s a harmonious wine best enjoyed with a meat dish with decisive tastes of saltiness, sweetness and spiciness flavors like this Korean beef stew cooked for almost 4 hours.