2015 Tenuta Le Calcinaie Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Region: Tuscany < Italy
Grapes: Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming with biodynamic practices; rocky, shelly soils with lots of marine sediment; fermented in steel vats then aged on the lees for 6 months; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Simone Santini
Simone Santi, who looks like a cleaned-up, less crazy Johnny Depp, says he has always dreamed of dedicating himself to nature and wine. Now he’s living the dream, making simple, beautiful and clean wines, along with olive oil and honey, at his organic 2-hectare estate in the magical countryside outside of San Gimignano. Tuscany is not known for exciting white wines, because most of them rely upon the ubiquitous and somewhat boring local varieties of Trebbiano and Malvasia. But the relatively rare Vernaccia clone that thrives near San Gimignano, when treated nicely, is full of character and brightness, and can age. Thus its 800-year reign as Tuscany’s most (and honestly, only) important white. This pretty, golden wine is pure and aromatic, with good structure, balance, and tension. You get bright and zippy floral and citrus notes with almond and mineral on the finish. A fantastic food wine.