Piaggia Carmignano Riserva 2017
Some evenings everything falls into place and it is as darn near as perfect as an evening can be. We recently went for dinner with some of our very favourite people, at one of our very favourite restaurants. I was given the liberty of choosing wine for the table, which isn’t always easy given the wide variety of small dishes at Nightingale, as well as the wide variety of palates at the table. One of the reds I selected was this Super Tuscan, the Piaggia Carmignano Riserva 2017 and other surpassed my expectations.
The first thing you may ask is, “what the hell is a Super Tuscan?”. Well, a Super Tuscan is a wine of high quality, produced in Tuscany, that includes grape varietals that aren’t traditionally allowed by the Italian wine laws, or non-Indigenous grapes. That means varietals like Merlot, Cabernet Franc, that kind of thing. Tuscany grows some gorgeous Bordeaux varietals and Italian producers wanted to showcase these, or blend them with Indigenous varietals and thus, a new classification was born: the Super Tuscan.
This deep ruby Super Tuscan is a blend of Sangiovese, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It’s rich, opaque and chewy, with an exceptionally full body. Loaded with rich dark red raspberry and black cherry, red licorice, and chocolate. What was beautifully surprising was the umami notes that played well with the fruit: sweet and tangy tomato paste and even hints of shiitake mushroom, rounded out with cocoa and tobacco. It was sweet and savoury, with medium acidity and medium + tannins. With no filtration or dining, this wine sticks to every part of your palate and I would love to see what will happen to it with a few more years in the bottle. Just gorgeous.
Of all the dishes we had that night, it paired SO well with the flat iron steak. The espresso rub, with mushrooms and the porcini butter and wild mushroom vinaigrette… It balanced out the mushroom umami in the wine and the acidity held up well with the vinaigrette. If you can get to Nightingale, get this wine and that dish. If not, make yourself a beautiful steak with mushrooms and add a splash of balsamic vinegar to the mushrooms. Or make a rich ragu and cook it down for hours to stand up to the rich body of this wine.