Caparsa is an organic estate winery in Radda in Chianti in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany, Italy. Reginaldo Cianferoni bought Caparsa in 1965. Reginaldo became a professor of agriculture at the University of Florence, and wrote about Chianti’s troubled economy from the 1960s to the 1980s, his work informed by his ‘mezzadro’ or share-cropping family origins (Nesto & Di Savino, 2016, p.190). Reginaldo was succeeded in 1982 by his son Paolo and the latter’s wife Gianna, who is also from a share-cropping family. They have five children called Federico (marketing), Filippo (oenologist), Fiamma, Flavio and and Francesco. Paolo Cianferoni has strong views on the Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione category.
Vineyards: 2005 11 hectares. | 2017 14 hectares (34.6 acres) of vineyards (the estate comprises 28 hectares of land in total I think), mainly red. Pretty extreme, steep and north east facing. 350-450 metres a.s.l. Soils with plenty of quartz and marls. Well drained: very low yields, very small grapes. But also very low disease pressure. Said to have ‘one vineyard with white alberese stones with streaks of quartz and a second vineyard loaded with fine gray chips of galestro….[Paolo Cianferoni’s] favourite soil type,’ because it ‘always stays dry’ and makes for healthier, rot-free grapes (Nesto & Di Savino, p.190-192).
Organic certification: 2005 First vintage with full organic certification. | 2017 Still certified organic.
Winemaking: After Paolo Cianferoni took over the winemaking he sought advice from Cristiano Castagno, a winemaker in San Casciano Val di Pesa, regarding the creation of the ‘Caparsino’ wine (Nesto & Di Savino, p.190). He then worked with Federico Staderini. Underground cellar.
Toscana Bianco, Bianco di Caparsino: 2006 Trebbiano and Malvasia. €7 prix particuliers. Bit oxidised (Millésime Bio 2008).
Rosato di Caparsa: 100% Sangiovese. Fermented in cement tanks.
Rosso di Caparsa: NV Vino da Tavola. Sangiovese, Canaiolo. Lightish colour, mercaptan, fizzy and green, light style of fruit, cherry, could be a unique expression of Sangiovese or a badly made light country wine probably from 2002 but the fruit, what there is of it, does have some purity at Argiano on 31 March 2005. Now labelled as IGT Toscano Rosso.
Chianti Classico DOCG, Caparsa: 2017 100% Sangiovese. 100% fermented in concrete tanks. Limpid colour, characterful flavours (Antepima 2020).
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Caparsino: 100% Sangiovese. Hot, dry, NW-facing site. | 1999 100% Sangiovese. Lovely wild black fruit and a bit of new oak which has deadened its natural ebullience but again nice purity, not as knit as the 2001 (Argiano, 31 March 2005). | 2006 13%. | 2008 97% Sangiovese, 3% Malvasia Nera and Canaiolo. Nice warm funk, ageing well, decent flesh–I think this is ready (Real Wine Fair 2016). | 2012 Sweet fruit and brett (Real Wine Fair 2017). | 2015 100% Sangiovese. 18m in large oak vats. Decent weight (Anteprima 2018). | 2017 100% Sangiovese. Destem. 12m in botti (old oak). Ripe, sappy, old school, but good (Antepima 2020).
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Doccio a Matteo: Said to be from vines at 420 metres (1,377 feet). ‘Doccio a Matteo is a selection of the best lots,’ Paolo Cianferoni told me at the Anteprima 2020. | | 1997 100% Sangiovese. | 1999 100% Sangiovese. | 2000 100% Sangiovese. | 2001 Sangiovese and a bit of Ancelotta with some barrel aging. Lovely wild fruit nose, clean and just a bit green, nice width to the tannin, beautifully pure and soft dogshit and hedgerow style and light in terms of alcohol, but really pure, reminds me a little of Chateau Meylet’s St Emilion, meaning bretty (Argiano, 31 March 2005. | 2005 Bit high tone (Millésime Bio 2008). | 2015 97% Sangiovese, 3% Colorino. Three soil types. Lovely crunch, decent weight (Anteprima 2018).
Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Di Caprino: Trebbiano, Malvasia Bianco, Canaiolo.
Loc Caparsino, 48 | I-53017 Radda in Chianti (FI = Firenze), Italy
Tel+39 (0)577.738174 or 738639 (shop) | www.caparsa.it
Bill Nesto MW & Frances Di Savino, Chianti Classico, the Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine (University of California Press, 2016), p190-192.