A Note from Sergio
When people fall in love with Italy, they usually fall in love with Toscana first. It's a romantic site, no doubt about it. The hills, rounded as the backs of elephants, seem to swim on a sea of grass. Most times of the year, flowers dot the ground like confetti--little tiny white ones like snow, small yellow ones, pinky-sized purple ones that look like miniature clover. Right now, irises the size of longshoremen's fists bloom everywhere, so too do poppies brighter and redder than the ones along the yellow brick road to Oz. Pine trees that look like giant stalks of broccoli, impressive oaks, knife-blade cypresses and the quiet khaki of olive trees make for a symphony of green. Punctuating all this glorious nature are the soap-yellow medieval towns on the hills. It's an extraordinary landscape.
And yet, what really knocks me out isn't the visual. It's beautiful--no doubt about it--but so much of Italy is beautiful. What really sets Toscana apart for me are the smells. There's that deep bass-line of earth, the pointy feel in your nostrils of mineral rocks, that fecund scent of dirt, and even a tangy dusty smell of clay; you can't escape it, nor do you want to. All those growing things--the tiny flowers, the many blades of grass, the delicate wild arugula and the tender wild garlic, the budding vines and the roots of the tree--they too throw off their own olfactory aura.
You can't remove one scent from the whole picture. It all blends together seamlessly. Sometimes in a faint saline waft you can smell the sea; other times, you can smell jasmine, hyacinth or cherry blossoms. Usually, though, it all works together to create un bello profumo, the beautiful perfume, of Toscana. It's not one thing; it's everything. And the best wines from Toscana embody it.
Today's offer brings you a selection of vintages of Querciabella's Camartina, a Super-Tuscan blend that features Cabernet Sauvignon. Querciabella grows their grapes biodynamically, so they're committed to making their wines in harmony with the Tuscan landscape. When you get a bottle of Camartina, you're getting a bottle of wine that's imbued with all the flowers, the grasses, the trees, and the earth around it. I've really enjoyed seeing this winery mature over the years and to see how their flagship Camartina transformed from a lean and powerful wine to a graceful, mature wine that brims with character. Camartina grew up into an interesting adult, one you want to keep around for a long time in order to prolong your conversation with it.
This week, I'm delighted to offer you a selection of some of the greatest vintages of Querciabella's Camartina--including its inaugural 1981 vintage; the mid-career vitality of 1991 and 1996; the sensuous years of 1999 and 2000; and the most recent vintage of 2007, a year that illustrates the fresh, bold future of this wine. It's exceptional to be able to get ahold of so many representatives of a wine's history--it's even more amazing to be able to get them at the kind of pricing we're offering. Drinking bottle of vintage wine is always like time traveling. Drinking a bottle Camartina is like drinking in Toscana and all its bella profumo.
P.S. You can now follow me on Twitter: @Italian_Wine_SE.