2016 Fattoria Kappa ‘Lambda'
Region: Bolgheri < Tuscany < Italy
Grapes: Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic farming, only horses used in the vineyard, no machines; alluvial soils; manual harvest into small boxes, then second manual selection at the vibrating table. 20% of the grapes are left whole cluster; foot trod then fermented without temperature control in stainless; macerated 2-4 weeks, then matured for 12 months in used 500l Tonnaux and 8 months in steel tanks, then another 18 months in wood - 15% of the barrels are new every year - then a final rest in cement tanks for a few months; bottled unfined, unfiltered, with minimal added So2; 14.5% ABV
Winemaker: Andrea di Maio
Fattoria Kappa started in 1999 when two Austrian friends, both wine lovers, were on holiday in Italy and found themselves lamenting the (sometimes questionable) quality of high-priced Italian wines and decided to start their own project in the Maremma, Tuscany’s own wild west (except that it’s southern). They were adamant about working in a very traditional way, no machines or spraying in the vineyards, no additives, including So2, in the cellar.
This is their important red, their Super Tuscan, for which the Bolgheri region is known. In our opinion, most "super" Tuscans are anything but super. We are generally not fans of the international varietals picked at higher brix and treated with too much expensive new oak, to get the big Parker scores and command big bucks from the American palate. Lambda, while it contains some international varieties (because that is what was already planted in this area) is a completely different animal. 'Lambda', which in physics is the wavelength, and this red is exactly on our wavelength. There is a sensation of fullness for those looking for a more fruit-forward wine, but rather than registering as big, it feels tight and strong. Think athlete vs. sumo wrestler. With generous black fruit, spice, cedar, smooth tannins and a soft, lingering finish, this is the red you want for BBQ. Yeah, it's biodynamic and super natural, but your dad will love it too.