Characteristics and Successes of Canaiolo
Canaiolo, Style and Characteristics
In this article we discuss the characteristics and successes of Canaiolo. We are talking about an unusual and interesting monovarietal wine.
Canaiolo, also known as Canaiolo Nero or Canajuolo, is an indigenous Tuscan grape variety, which has always been used as a “minority partner” of Sangiovese in Chianti blends (which also happens to be the case in our Sasso Bisciaio wine). However, it is much rarer to find a monovarietal wine from Canaiolo.
The Canaiolo bunch is quite small, and the leaves are usually three-lobed or five-lobed. The winemaker who aims to obtain a high-value product is required to limit the yields in the vineyard, especially when making a monovarietal. Generally speaking, unfavorable years or excessive stress for the vines are sworn enemies of a quality Canaiolo vintage. Which is why at Tenuta la Pineta the IGT Toscana Canaiolo Nero is only released in the best years.
A single-grape Canaiolo can astonish the drinker precisely because it highlights every single characteristic of the varietal. Wines produced by Canaiolo have a ruby red appearance, the color is not too intense, but rather transparent; the nose is fruity, spicy, with balsamic notes standing out – in the more elegant Canaiolos a minty note and a hint of eucalyptus are particularly striking. The body tends to be medium, but the strong point lies in its great elegance and discreet softness, which distinguish it from most other Tuscan grapes.
For pairing with food, what we have anticipated about the wine leads us to choose medium-bodied dishes: first and foremost, delicate meats.
Awards and Recognition
Now, the title “Characteristics and successes of Canaiolo” also presupposes an examination of the feedback that this wine has received over the years. Well, let’s say that we started with ups and downs: in the first harvests the monovarietal experiment really put us to the test. For several years we vinified it and then tasted it and deemed it insufficient for our quality standards. After all, we at Tenuta la Pineta have always set the bar very high…
Year after year, however, the characteristics and successes of Canaiolo have improved in unison. The wine has become cleaner, more refined, and in the more fortunate years even harmonious. Thus, as the smell and taste improved, the first national and foreign recognitions arrived too!
The two-year period 2022-2023 was the peak of this wine. The 2019 vintage received a gold medal at London Wine Competition, which filled us with satisfaction and provided the winery with visibility at the international level. Subsequently, the same label received the title of “unmissable wine” on the Vini Buoni d’Italia guide by the Italian Touring Club, an organization that has always paid close attention to the native vines of the country. Furthermore, Canaiolo got the huge win of entering the Gambero Rosso “Bere Bene” guide, among the “best Italian wines under 20 euros”, as well as the authoritative publications Guida Oro Veronelli and Vitae by the Italian Sommelier Association.