Alice in Wonderland


Every time I go to Tenuta di Capezzana, I always feel as if I were thrown into a movie, into a dream, somewhere outside of reality. I can’t always tell if it is a movie I have seen already, reinterpreted according to a new script, a new original screenplay, or if it’s a story yet to be written. The SWEET BLOGGER TASTING, held last June to celebrate the Vin Santo Riserva 2013 awarded as the best Italian sweet wine at the International Wine Challenge, was undoubtedly a sweet restart, but this definition is a bit prosaic and extremely limiting if we consider that we were invited to celebrate a great achievement!

Great achievements demand great celebrations, and considering Filippo Contini Bonacossi’s style, generosity, and hospitality, it is easy to imagine that the event organized for the occasion could only be something extraordinary. I must admit, however, that this event went far beyond my expectations and those of all the guests present in various capacities.

Here I am, I’ve just arrived and yet I already have the feeling of being in a place where anything can happen, where linear time no longer exists, where the order of things is subverted, put back in order and then subverted all over again, in an enthusiastic carousel that makes your heart beat faster with adrenaline and endorphins on the rise! First things first however, or at least let’s try to keep it that way! Those who, like me, came from far away, were welcomed at Villa di Capezzana the night before. And since wine disinfects everything, and joy and positivity have proven beneficial effects on the immune system, we did hug one another that evening after way too long!

The convivial dinner, culminated in an abnormally large Fiorentina steak, was washed down not only with some fine labels from the hosts Winery, but also with numerous bottles of rare vintages from the Bonacossi private collection, including a Villa di Capezzana Riserva 1975, and a Ghiaie della Furba 1983 both in excellent shape! It is too easy to praise such bottles, or Bruno Giacosa’s Barolo 1958 – Cru Vigna Rionda, which we found still in a moving state of grace; yes, I admit I had tears in my eyes during the tasting!

After this long introduction, let’s get to the heart of the story, the climax of the fairy tale! It is Alice in Wonderland, in Tim Burton’s version, which best conveys the feeling of the experience lived at the Master Class organized by Filippo during which, besides his Vin Santo Riserva 2013, some of the best sweet wines of Italy were presented together with a wonderful Château d’Yquem 2004.

The story of every glass plays with logic, and the narrative style of every tasting is characterized by paradoxes, absurdities, and nonsense, in that positive meaning which has as final result the magic of an enchanted world that only the clean and pure soul of a child can fully understand.

I searched for my inner child here, because these wines are just like that, they do not comply with the traditional canons of wine tasting, and therefore must be approached with a clear and open mind like that of a child. They are everything and the opposite of everything, like in Alice’s world! Sweetly drinkable as they are full of freshness. Opulent but with lightness with their thousand sensations unfolding in an elegant and fluid dance. They are magical, as they nail you to the present and yet take you far away with your imagination, in the wake of their exotic and infinite fragrances, and their brilliant and precious colors that recall the sun of distant planets (perhaps there is also something of “Treasure Planet” in this story).

In a Vinsantaia wonderfully transformed into a tasting room, they paraded in order:

🧡 Planeta – Passito di Noto – Noto DOC 2018

🧡 Kurtatsch – Aruna – Mitterberg Bianco IGT 2016

🧡 Zanovello – Colli Euganei Fior d’Arancio Passito DOCG 2017

🧡 Montetondo – Recioto di Soave DOCG 2018

🧡 Monviert – Picolit – Colli Orientali del Friuli DOCG 2017

👑 Tenuta di Capezzana – Vin Santo di Carmignano DOC 2013

🧡 San Giusto a Rentennano – Vin SanGiusto IGT 2013

🧡 Selvapiana – Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina DOC 2012

🧡 Isole e Olena – Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC 2009

🧡 Rocca di Montegrossi – Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC 2006

🧡 I Veroni – Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina DOC “Occhio di Pernice” 2010

👑 Château d’Yquem – Sauternes Premier Grand Cru 2004

An incredible lineup! Our Champions, each one with its own style and peculiarities, had nothing to fear from one of the greatest wines of the world, quite the contrary, and they all performed with equal and overwhelming charm! There is a “je ne sais quoi” of Piccolit in this Château d’Yquem…

About the iconic French wine, I must say it is an outsider in a category which is already a class of its own. It is a truly different and surprising sip, so herbaceous and yet delicately sweet with marzipan. It is extremely citric but also extremely mineral. It has hints of hydrocarbons and at the same time the sweet balsamic notes of tarragon and saffron. I need to stop here as I do not want to bore anyone with an endless list of paradoxical and exquisitely nonsensical sensations!

What about Benedetta Bonacossi’s Vin Santo then? Yes, because this is her creation! There is a great Woman behind this bottle. A Woman who was able to instill in this precious amber nectar her refined and complex personality, which is explained by that simple elegance of her noble heart. The sip is creamy, yet incredibly agile and fluid. Define as a meditation wine, you do not even have to make the effort here: Nirvana comes by itself sip after sip, and the many awards that came in the following months leave no doubt about that!

Let me end this with a nice sparkling wine to cool down with, and an anecdote that I fear has cost me a few turns of disqualification from Capezzana! It must have been the twilight that made the atmosphere magical under the flowering lime trees, and this is how in a moment of pure relaxation, I had the audacity to say that Andrea Contucci was way more social than Filippo (the two are very good friends indeed). May day! May day! Filippo pulled out the yellow card for me, how can I possibly blame him? And as this happened during a refreshing cocktail with his Vittoria – the new Spumante Brut Rosé, made from 100% Sangiovese grapes, he sealed the deal by telling me that Andrea does not like his sparkling wine. I had to take Filippo’s side, for the sake of truth, because Vittoria is a product absolutely centered on the idea it wants to convey; it is fresh, very pleasant, not too demanding yet it does not go unnoticed, and it has an excellent value for money. It works very well for me! Therefore, Andrea please, I urge you to reconsider! We cannot possibly always drink Krug after all!