Today, we embarked on a captivating and historically significant family journey, accompanied by the delightful taste of a wine from the esteemed Beconcini family. Leonardo and Eva, our gracious hosts, expertly oversee this winemaking enterprise.
Our location is the picturesque San Miniato region of Tuscany, a reflection of the region’s romantic essence, which we are savoring alongside a vintage from 2017.
The wine we’re savoring hails from a grape variety that, in Italy, thrives on fewer than 30 hectares, in stark contrast to its Spanish counterparts, boasting over 200,000 hectares: the Tempranillo.
It’s crucial to highlight that the Tempranillo grapes used in the production of this exceptional wine are a remarkable revival resulting from the discovery of vines grown on pre-phylloxera rootstock. Many of these vines were aged but still highly productive, having been planted in the early 1900s. Their impressive longevity and productivity motivated Leonardo to embark on a unique venture: the establishment of an entire vineyard dedicated solely to Tempranillo. This initiative is not only uncommon in the Tuscan wine scene but also unprecedented on a national scale. As a result, the Beconcini family became actively involved in research and collaboration with various Italian universities and institutes, thereby contributing to the preservation of this extraordinary viticultural heritage.
Leonardo Beconcini manages the winery, which stands as the first Tuscan establishment to produce Tempranillo. In this genuine “Cru”, named “Vigna le Nicchie”, we witness a profound passion and dedication to unraveling a winemaking heritage that stretches back in time. The discovery of these Tempranillo vines is relatively recent; it was only in the 1990s that Leonardo’s curiosity was piqued by these vines, distinctly different from the Sangiovese, possibly an ancient gift from pilgrims traveling from Santiago de Compostela to Rome.
“Vigna le Nicchie” is crafted from slightly withered grapes. It matures in new oak barrels, both French and American, for a duration of 24 months before being allowed to rest in the bottle for an additional 18 months.
The vintage we had the privilege to sample, the 2017, graced our wide glasses with a remarkably intense red hue, with subtle violet undertones, enhanced by its remarkable visual depth. On the nose, the influence of withering and wood aging is apparent, offering a bouquet of flowers and ripe red fruits, reminiscent of blackberry jam, and delicate hints of violet that evolve as minutes pass, revealing notes of toasted caramel, velvety cocoa, and a refreshing touch of licorice.
The tasting experience is exceptional, with a full-bodied character and pronounced tannic softness, culminating in a long, intricate, and delightfully mineral finish. This wine pairs beautifully with spiced meats, aged alpine cheeses, and pasta adorned with a game ragù. It is particularly recommended alongside a hearty beef stew.
With only a limited number of bottles available on the market, originating from a plot of land spanning less than one hectare, adorned with century-old vines, the Tempranillo “Vigna le Nicchie” stands as a genuine testament to the profound knowledge and love for the land and the production of high-quality wines, a source of pride for Leonardo and Eva.
Leonardo Beconcini and his wife Eva manage together Pietro Beconcini Agricola, Tuscan winery in San Miniato by generations. Leonardo’s project began to take shape in the early 1990s, undertaking the studies of the local environment with local zonation research, and with the first vintage of a monovarietal Sangiovese in 1995, The RECISO. Successively, he took over the reins of the business from his father. The long and patience work research and the massal selections have permitted him the in-depth understanding of the vineyards in his land, so to dedicate his life to local grapes cultivation and to the discovery of the unexpected presence at San Miniato of the fabulous grape Tempranillo variety . Today, Pietro Beconcini Agricola is the first winery in Tuscany to produce wines from this noble variety, which has such deep historical roots in San Miniato.
Pietro Beconcini Agricola
Via Montorzo, 13/A
56028 San Miniato (PI)