Category Archives: Chianti Classico Gran Selectione

Castello di Radda: Chianti Classico at its Best

I first met Annalisa Chiavazza when she was working for a wine PR firm based in Alba. She was the guide for a number of press trips I went on sponsored by the PR firm and we became friends.  Now Annalisa is the marketing and communications manager for Agricole Gussalli Beretta Group. Recently, Annalisa sent me some samples from Castello Radda, one of the members of the group whose wines I know and like.  

IMG_5456 In fact I have a few bottles from the 2013 vintage.

The Castello di Radda winery is located just north of the city of Siena in the town of Radda in Chianti and is part of Agricola Gussalli Beretta Group. The winery was acquired by the Beretta family in 2003 and comprises 40 hectares located in Radda in Chianti and Gaiole in Chianti. Both in Rhadda and Gaiole the soil is well drained and moderately deep with low water retention which subjects the vines to constant stress which makes for better grapes.

They separately vinify the grapes of every vineyard and when possible, every parcel. This separation is maintained until bottling for the varietal wines, or until the moment of assemblage for the blended wines. 

The wines are racked in stainless steel tanks that are specified to contain the exact amount of fermented wine they will contain; this prevents the need to top up barrels with wines from other parcels, so the wine is not mixed.

In 2020 Castello Radda became a 100% organic winery. They also changed their label starting with the  2020 vintage.

These are the wines sent to me by Annalisa:

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Chianti Classico D.O.C.G. 2018 Castello Di Radda made from 90% Sangiovese and 10% other grapes. The vineyards are at 400 meters with a southeast and southwest exposure. The soil has a clay and limestone structure with a good presence of silica skeleton. Harvest is by hand and then sorted in the cellar. Fermentation is in stainless steel thermo-conditioned 50hl and 100hl vats, followed by maceration on the skins for two to three weeks. Malolactic fermentation is carried out in both stainless steel and wood. Part of the wine is aged in tonneaux and part in 20hl Slavonian oak barrels. The wine then remains in the bottle for at least 6 months before release. The wine has hints of violet, ripe plum, cherries and blackberries.

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Chianti Classico D.O.C.G. Castello di Radda Riserva 2016 made from 100% Sangiovese from the oldest estate vineyards with south, southwest exposure at 400 meters. The limestone clay soils are more or less loose depending on the vineyard. The clusters are picked by hand and there is a quality selection on the sorting tables in the cellar. Initial fermentation takes place in 50hl stainless steel tanks and the wine remains on the skins for 3 weeks to one month depending on the ripeness of the grapes. Malolactic fermentation: 20% in oak and the remainder in 30hl stainless steel tanks. Maturation: 20% in new French oak tonneaux, 80% in once used tonneaux and 20 hl Slavonian ovals for about 20 months. The wine ages for a minimum of 9 months before release. The wine has hints of wild berries, blackberries, spices, brushwood and herbs.

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Chianti Classico Gran Selezione D.O.C.G.”Vigna di Corno”  Castello di Radda 2015 made from 100% Sangiovese. The grapes come from the single vineyard Il Corno (the vineyard) at 400 meters. The age of the vineyard is about 20 years. The soil is a clayey-calcareous type rich in texture. Harvesting  is done by hand in 20kg boxes by selecting the grapes first in the vineyard and then on a sorting table at the winery. Harvest is in the  beginning of October. The grapes are crushed and destemmed before fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks of 50hl.  Maceration is for 4 weeks or so depending on the ripeness of the grapes. Malolactic is in 5hl new tonneaux and the wine spends about 5 months on the lees. Aging continues in the same tonneaux for another 20 months, then in bottle for at least 12 months before release. The wine has hints of blackberries, spice, cassis, with a touch of cedar and a note of violets. This is a very impressive wine.

I really liked the wines and hope to visit the winery soon where I will be able to taste all of the wines of Castello di Radda.

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Chianti Classico Connection

Last week, I attended a tasting called The Chianti Connection sponsored by the Chianti Classico Consortium where I was able to taste dozens (out of hundreds) of Chianti wines.  After the event I felt more connected to Chianti Classico than ever before, which was perfect, since if all goes as planned I will be in Tuscany in October and look forward to drinking many bottles of Chianti Classico.

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The Symbol of the Chianti Classico Consortium

There were 235 Chianti Classico–Annata, Riserva and Gran Selezione from 2019 back to 2012, 7 Vin Santo Chianti Classico and even Olio DOP Chianti Classico. It was a two-day event but I could only attend on one. I had my place for two hours and I would pick four wines at a time from the list and they would be poured into my glass.  It was all done via smartphone, except the pouring.  Here are my thoughts on a few of those I tasted.

IMG_5160Chianti Classico: The Territory

IMG_5164The Quality Pyramid-producers must declare in advance if it is Chianti Classico Annata, Riserva or Gran Selezione

IMG_5168Chianti Classico must be made from 80% and 100% Sangiovese and up to 20% other permitted red grapes both indigenous and international.

The Wines

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Chianti Classico 2019 Lilliano made from 90% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.  After the quality-selected clusters are destemmed and pressed, the must is fermented and macerated in stainless steel for 18-20 days at a controlled temperature with programmed punch-downs and daily pumpovers. Maceration fermentation takes place in concrete and small stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature for 18-20 days depending on the vintage. The wine ages for about 12 to 14 months in large casks of French oak and partly in concrete. After maturation, the final blend is assembled, bottled and aged in glass for a minimum of 3 months. This is a wine with hints of red fruit, cherry, violets and a touch of cassis. I recently rediscovered Lilliano when I was in Rome last time and was reminded how good it can be.

IMG_5063Chianti Classico 2019 Bibbiano made from 100% Sangiovese The production area is Bibbiano and Castellina in Chianti from all the vineyards of the estate (25 hectares) from both the southwest and northeast slopes. The soil is calcareous-clay mixed with (limestone based) alberese rock. This wine represents the territorial characteristics of the estate since it is produced from Sangiovese grapes grown on both sides of the estate with the addition of a small amount of Colorino. Havesting of the Sangiovese began on September 20th and Colorino a few days later. The vinification takes place in cement vats and fermentation on the skins lasts for 18 days. There is a further stage of maturation while the wine is still in the cement vats, followed by a 3 months refining period in the bottle. This is a very well balanced wine with fruity hints of cherry and prune and a touch of violets. 

IMG_5064Chianti Classico 2019 Volpaia Made from 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot vines planted 1972-2004. Light soil consisting of sandstone except for the Castellino and Santa Maria vineyards, which have clay and Montanino which is sandstone and clay. Vineyards are on slopes 397 /570 meters and the exposure is southern. There are 2.564 to 5,683 wines/hectares and the training system is guyot. The wine is aged in Slavonian casks for 12 months. The wine has hints of red berries, cherry, mint and a touch of licorice and a note of violets. Chianti Classico can age I had the 2004 Volpaia at a friend’s house just after the tasting and it was in perfect condition and not yet at its peak.

IMG_5065Chianti Classico 2019 “Brolio” Ricasoli made from Sangiovese. The vineyards are in Gaiole in Chianti, which are at 280 t0 480 meters. Vinified in stainless steel with 16 days of skin contact and 9 months in large barrels and barriques. The wine has fruity black cherry aromas and flavors with hints of spice and violets.

IMG_5078Chianti Classico 2019 Banfi made from mostly Sangiovese and small amounts of Canaiolo Nero and Cabernet Sauvignon. The soil is calcareous and well structured. Fermentation takes place with traditional skin contact of 8 to 10 days. The wine is aged for a short time in large casks of French oak. Bottling takes place the summer after the harvest. The wine has hints of cherries, plums and violets with a note of leather.

IMG_5089Chianti Classico 2019 “Storia di Famiglia” Cecchi Made from 90 % Sangiovese, 5 % Colorino and 5% Canaiolo The vineyards are at 259 meters and the soil is middle dough ,alkaline and stones. There are 5,000 plants per hectare and the training system is spurred cordon. There is traditional red wine fermentation at a controlled temperature. Fermentation and maceration for 18 days. The wine is aged in bottle for s minimum of 2 months This is a wine with hints of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries a touch of spice and a hint of pine.  Always one of my favorites.

IMG_5100Chianti Classico 2019 Riecine made from 100% Sangiovese. The soil is limestone and clay and the vineyard is at 450/500 meters and is certified organic by ICEA. The vines are 25 years old. Harvest is by hand in September and October with a selection of graprs and in the cellar. The grapes are separated by plot, crushed and fermented in open concrete Nomboly tanks. Maceration is for 10 days and pressed off. Aging is in old tonneaux and big Grenier casks. The wine was bottled in January 2021.  This is a fruit-driven, elegant, medium bodied wine with hints of red fruit, roses, eucalyptus and a touch of violet.

IMG_5072 2Monsanto Chianti Classico “Il Poggio” 2016 made from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino and Canaiolo. The training system is guyot and spurred cordon. The wine is vinified in temperature controlled conical steel vats. Delestage and pumping over for about 20 to 22 days. The wine is aged in 500 liter oak barrels, partly new and partly second hand for 18 to 20 months. The wine remains in the bottle for 2 years before release. The wine has hints of blackberries and blueberries with a hint of violets. Monsanto is located in the western-central area of the Chianti Classico region in the municipality of Barberino Tavarnelle. I have a long history with Monsanto going back almost 40 years and the wonderful 1977 vintage.

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Chianti Classico Badia a Colibuono 2018 90% Sangiovese 10% Colorino and 5% Ciliegiolo. The vineyards are at 250/330 meters and the soil in clay loam and limestone rock. The training system is guyot and the wines are 6 to 30 years old. There are 5,000 to 7,300 vines per hectare. Indigenous yeast from grapes with a starter. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. There is a light gelatin fining and a membrane filtration. The wine is aged in 2,000 to 2,500 liter French and Austrian oak casks for about 12 months. Then aged in bottle for about 3 months before release. The winery has been organic since 1995. The wine has hints strawberry and raspberry with good acidity, a note of violet and a touch of sunshine on the Tuscan pines. I have been drinking this Chianti Classico for many years.

IMG_5079Chianti Classico DOCG 2018 Castello di Meleto made from 100% Sangiovese. The vineyard is at 360 to 450 meters with a south, southeast and southwest exposure and the soil is gravelly, rich in galestro and alberese. There are 3,500/ 5,000 vines per hectare and the vines were planted in 1970-2000. The training system is spurred cordon, guyot and alberello (bush). The grapes are harvested by hand and by machine and then destemmed and lightly pressed. Maceration is on the skins for 15 to 20 days. Spontaneous alcoholic fermentation is in stainless steel tanks, without adding exogenous yeast, for 7-10 days. Malolactic fermentation takes place in cement vats. The wine is aged in 54HL Slavonian oak barrels (botti) for 12 months. The wine is aged in the bottle for 6 months before release. The wine has hints of cherry, blueberry and a hint of pine. It is a very pleasant wine that is very food friendly.

IMG_5090Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC 2001 Castello di Meleto 90% Trebbiano, 5% Sangiovese and 5% Malvasia. The vineyard has western exposure and is at 400 meters. The soil is limestone mixed with sandstone. Training system is guyot, there are 3,000 vines per hectare. The vines were planted in 1972 -1974. Manual harvest and the grapes are naturally dried in well-ventilated rooms followed by fermentation and aging is barrels of different woods and sizes, which are sealed and kept in rooms with shifting temperatures. Aging is for 4 to 5 years in mixed wooden casks called caratelli of 60, 100 and 120 liters. The caratelli are filled up to 70%. This is a full dessert wine has hints of dried fruit, honey and apricot with a touch of vanilla.

There was an incredible amount of Chianti Classico to taste but I could only sample a fraction of them.  Chianti Classico has always been one of my favorite wines and I am happy to report that I liked all the wines I tasted.

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Filed under Badia a Coltibuono, Banfi, Bibbiano, Brolio Chianti Classico, Castello di Meleto, Cecchi, Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Gran Selectione, Monsanto, Riecine, Vin Santo, Volpaia

Welcoming Spring

Spring has arrived in New York so we decided to have a few friends over for dinner to celebrate.

 

IMG_4664Champagne Andre Clouet “Cuvèe “1911” Grand Cru Brut NV made from100% Pinot Noir – 50% from 2002, 25% from 1995 and 25% from 1997. The estate vineyards surround the village of Bouzy where the soil is chalk and clay. The farming method is conventional. Fermentation is in stainless steel and natural barrels. Malolactic fermentation takes place. The wine is aged for 6 years on the lees. This is a complex Champagne with citrus aromas and flavors, a touch of peach and a note of brioche.

 

With the Champagne, we had smoked trout mousse on toasts.  

 

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Barbera d’Asti 2007 Tenuta Cisa Asinari Del Marchese Di Gresy made from 100% Barbera. The vineyard is located in Cassine at 230 to 240 meters and the soil is clay. The farm is practicing organic and the vines are 17 years old. The training system is guyot. Alcoholic fermentation takes place followed by malolactic fermentation. The skins macerate for 8 to 10 days with regular pumping over. Farina fissile and micro filtration takes place during bottling. The wine is aged in second and third passage barriques and in Slavonian oak casks for 5 to 6 months. The wine is aged in bottle for 6 months before release. It has hints of cherry, blackberries, a touch of licorice and a note of spice with good acidity.

 

IMG_4633Homemade Ricotta and Basil Gnocchi in tomato sauce from Michele’s book, The Italian Vegetable Cookbook.

 

IMG_4669Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2004 “Beradenga”Felsina made from 100% Sangiovese located in Castelnuovo Berardenga with mostly southern exposure between 320 and 420 meters (the soil here is rock quartz and calcareous alberese mixed with alluvial pebbles. The vineyards are on different slopes. There are about 5,400 vines per hectare. The training system is bilateral cordon and simple guyot with a maximum of 5 to 8 buds per vine. Harvest is staged due to different altitudes of the vineyards, the first three weeks of October. The clusters are de-stemmed and pressed and the must is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Programmed punch downs and daily pumpovers take place. In March/April the wine goes into medium sized Slavonian oak barrels and French barriques of second and third passage. After 12/16 months of aging the final blend is assembled. The wine remains is glass for 2 to 6 months. The wine has notes of red and black berries with a touch of spice and mineral tones. It was drinking very nicely.

 

IMG_4635Potato Gatto’, a recipe from Michele’s book, 1,000 Italian Recipes

It had been some time since Michele had made this and we all couldn’t stop eating it.  It’s a classic Neapolitan recipe from her family and it’s made with potatoes mashed with Parmigiano Reggiano, mozzarella, and salami.  

IMG_4637Leg of Lamb  roasted with garlic, rosemary and anchovy was our main course.  

 

IMG_4639In the dish

 

IMG_4670Barolo Riserva 1967 Giacomo Borgogno and Figli 100% Nebbiolo. The grapes come from three different cru vineyards: Cannubi, Liste and Fossati. The winery is located in the center of the town of Barolo. The wine is aged at least five years in large oak barrels. This is a wine produced with traditional and natural wine making methods. Long fermentation and pumping over by hand takes place. Today the Farinetti family that also owns Eataly owns the winery. I have always had very good luck with older vintages of Borgogno. This is a classic traditional Barolo with hints of red fruit, tar, tobacco, violets, cedar and a touch of balsam.

 

IMG_4641A few Italian cheeses to finish the wine.  

IMG_4643For dessert, a friend brought a very good version of Pastiera, aka Pizza Gran, a Neapolitan style cheesecake cooked with grain and flavored with orange and cinnamon from his local pastry shop.

IMG_4645On the plate

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Tasting the Wines of Lilliano at Palazzo Ruspoli

Many years ago when Michele and I were in Tuscany we visited the Lilliano winery.  I  liked the wines. Then last fall, my friend Tony Di Dio of Tony Di Dio Selections introduced me to Alessandro Ruspoli, whose family owns the winery, at a lunch  and tasting of the wines of Lilliano in NYC. The winery is owned by brothers Giulio and Pietro Ruspoli and has been managed by Giulio since 1989. Alessandro, their nephew, represents Lilliano internationally. A short time after I met Alessandro in New York, Michele and I were having breakfast in a hotel in Parma when to my surprise Alessandro stopped by to say hello.  It  was  quite  a coincidence.  

Alessandro said that since we could not get together at the winery in Castellina in Chianti we could visit him in Rome at the Palazzo Ruspoli, which was a five-minute walk from where we were staying in Rome.

Alessandro

The Wines

Colli della Toscana Central IGT Anagallis 2016 made from 50% Cabernet, 40% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot. After a careful selection in the vineyard the grapes undergo a soft crushing and destalking before fermentation in 50 HL temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Maceration is for 25 days and on completion of malolactic fermentation, which takes place in steel, the wine goes into barriques of Allier and Nevers oak. The wine ages in wood for 14 months and blending takes place in a single container for even quality and characteristics. The wine is aged in the bottle for a minimum of 6 months before release. The wine has hints of red berry fruit, spice and a touch of vanilla.

Chianti Classico 2016 DOCG made from 90% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino and 5% Merlot. After the quality-selected clusters are destemmed and pressed, the must is fermented and macerated in stainless steel for 18-20 days at a controlled temperature with programmed punch downs and daily pumpovers. Maceration fermentation takes place in concrete and small stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature for 18-20 days depending on the vintage. The wine ages for about 12 to 14 months in large casks of French oak and partly in concrete. After maturation, the final blend is assembled, bottled and aged in glass for a minimum of 3 months. This is a wine with hints of red fruit, cherry, violets and a touch of cassis.

Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 made from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot from the first selection. After a careful selection the grapes undergo soft pressing and destalking. During fermentation the must is pumped over with plunging of the cap on a daily basis. Maceration lasts for 21 to 25 days depending on the vintage. Malolactic fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. The wine ages in large casks of French oak 28 to 34HL. The final blend is assembled and the wine ages in glass a minimum of 6 months. The wine has hints of cherry, cassis, violets, and a touch of spice.

Chianti Classico Grand Selezione DOCG 2016 made from 90% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino and 5% Merlot from grapes grown and selected from the Le Piagge and La Casina vineyards where the soil is calcareous clay. After a careful selection the grapes undergo a soft crushing and destemming. During fermentation the must is pumped over with plunging of the cap on a daily basis. Maceration is for 25 days depending on the vintage. Malolactic fermentation is in stainless steel tanks. The wine matures for 15 months in French oak barrels of 28 and 34HL and in tonneaux (500 liters). The wine is blended, bottled and ages for a minimum of 6 months. This is a full bodied wine with hints of red fruit, floral notes, cherry, plum and a touch of violets.

 

 

 

 

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Tasting the Wines of Montefili in Magnum

 

I have tasted and drunk the wines of Vecchie Terre Di Montefilli both at I Trulli Restaurant and at the winery in Panzano,Tuscany. At I Trulli I tasted the wines with Nicola Marzovilla, owner of I Trulli, and a partner in the Montefili Winery. At the winery I tasted the wines with Serena Gusmeri, the winemaker. Last month Nicola invited me to taste the wines of Montefili again but this time from magnums. I thought it would be interesting to see how the wines were showing in magnum.

The Wines

Chanti Classico 2015 made from 100% Sangiovese from younger vines at 500 meters. The soil is galestro and alberese and the vineyard was planted in the late 1990’s. The training system is spurred cordon. Fermentation is in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts and the wine is aged for 18 months in 30HL Slavonian oak barrels. The wine remains in bottle for 6 months before release. The wine has hints of blackberry and cherry with a note of almond and a touch of violets.

Nicola said because 2015 was such a great vintage and needs many years to develop, they would hold back the 2015 vintage and release the 2016 which he said was more approachable. I tasted the 2016 at the winery and I agree with Nicola.

Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2015 made from 100% Sangiovese from a careful selection of grapes from vineyards with the best exposure. The vineyards were planted in the late 1980’s. The training system is spurred cordon and guyot. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeast. Aging is in Slavonian oak barrels of 3,000 and 2,000 liters for a minimum of 22 months and 6 months in bottle before release. This is a well-structured wine with hints of blackberry and cherry with a touch of violets and a note of almonds.

Vigna Vecchia “Grand Selezione” DOCG 2015 made from 100% Sangiovese from a single vineyard called Vigna Vecchia planted in 1981. The training system is spurred cordon and fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. The wine is rotated between 30HL and 10HL oak barrels for 26 months and 8 months in bottle before release.  This is an elegant wine with red and black fruit aromas and hints of blueberries and cherries and a hint of violets.

Anfiteatro IGT 2012 made from 100% Sangiovese from the Anfiteatro vineyard planted in 1975. Nicola said this is their best vineyard. The training system is bilateral cordon. Fermentation is in stainless steel with indigenous yeast. The wine is aged for 28 months in 5HL barrels and 10 HL barrels and a minimum of 12 months in bottle before release. This is a very big wine that needs more time. In fact of all of the wines from the excellent 2015 vintage, this one will last the longest. Nicola said because of the position of the vineyards and because they are at 500 meters the microclimate is not like any other in Tuscany. The wine has hints of ripe red fruit, cherry, and cranberries with a note of violets and a touch of camphor. This wine was produced before Nicola and his partners bought the winery. This is a big wine and will need a lot of time to develop and the magnum will last for a very long time.

Bruno di Rocca IGT Colli Toscana 2004 made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Sangiovese from vineyards planted in the early 1980’s. The soil is galestro and the training system is spurred cordon. Vinification is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeast. Aging for a minimum of months 28 in tonneaux for the Sangiovese and for the Cabernet Sauvignon in barriques (350 liters).  Nicola said Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be aged in barriques. The wine spends a minimum of 12 months in bottle before release. It is difficult to make this type wine where the Cabernet Sauvignon does not dominate but this is a soft elegant wine. This wine was made before Nicola and his partners purchased the winery. It was showing no signs of age and was drinking very nicely.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Impressive Wines of Montefili

On a recent trip to Italy, Michele and I were planning to go to Florence. We wanted to have lunch outside the city at Antica Macelleria Cecchini, owned by Dario Cecchini, known as “The Butcher of Panzano”. Nicola Marzovilla, owner of I Trulli Restaurant, who is a friend of Dario’s made a reservation for us. Nicola also suggested we visit Vecchie Terre di Montefili in nearby Greve before lunch. Nicola is a partner in the winery and it is a short distance from the restaurant.

I tasted Nicola’s wines of Montefili last February at Restaurant I Trulli and was very impressed by them. Nicola said the winemaker was the talented Serena Gusmeri and he hired her because they both have the same approach to winemaking. It would be interesting to see how the wines developed and to speak to Serena about the wines.

We left Florence and about an hour later we arrived at the winery.

Serena welcomed us and said there are 12.5 hectares of vineyards planted mostly with Sangiovese in the heart of Chianti Classico on the highest hill outside of Panzano.

Serena

Like Nicola, she believes in as little interference in the winemaking process as possible, the grapes should speak for themselves. The vines are very old and they produced a wine that is very concentrated and can last for 20 years or more. This concentration and longevity come from the grapes themselves and not from anything that is done during the winemaking process.

We had some local products to eat with the wine

Serena said that none of the wines undergo filtration or fining and with the 2015 vintage they use spontaneous fermentation for the alcoholic fermentation, malolactic fermentation and the final refinement. When asked about the 2015 and 2016 vintages she said that in 2015 the grapes were perfect and the wines produced are big wines and will last for many years. The 2016 produced fresher wines with more acidity and will be ready to drink sooner.

The Wines

Montefili Rosso Toscana IGT 2015 made from 35% Sangiovese and 65% Cabernet Franc. The vineyards are at 500 meters and the terrain is hilly. The soil is galestro and alberese and the training system is spurred cordon. Vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. The wine is aged for a minimum of 20 in tonneau of 3.5 HL for the Cabernet Franc and large 20 HL barrels for the Sangiovese. The wine is aged in bottle for a minimum of 6 months before release.

Chianti Classico DOCG 2016 made from 100% Sangiovese. The terrain is hilly and the vineyards are at 500 meters. The soil is galestro and alberese. The vineyards were planted in the late nineties and Serena said these were the youngest vines on the property. The training system is spurred cordon. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeast. Aging is for a minimum of 15 months in 3,000 liter Slavonian oak barrels and 6 months in bottle before release.  This is a wine with hints of blackberry  and cherry with a touch of violets and and a note of almonds. This is a fruity wine with hints of cherry and blackberries with good acidity.  $30

Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2015 made from 100% Sangiovese from a careful selection of grapes from vineyards with the best exposure. The vineyards were planted in the late 1980’s. The training system is spurred cordon and guyot. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeast. Aging is in Slavonian oak barrels of 3,000 and 2,000 liters for a minimum of 22 months and 6 months in bottle before release.This is a  well structed wine with hints of blackberry  and cherry with a touch of violets and and a note of almonds. . $50

Vigna Vecchia “Gran Selezione” DOCG 2015 made from 100% Sangiovese from a single vineyard called Vigna Vecchia planted in 1981. The training system is spurred  cordon and fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. The wine is rotated between 30HL and 10HL oak barrels for 26 months and 8 months in bottle before release.  This is elegant wine with red and black fruit aromas and hints of blueberries and cherries and a hint of violets .$75

Anfiteatro IGT Colli Toscana Centrale made from 100% Sangiovese from the Anfiteatro vineyard planted in 1985. Serena said this is their best vineyard. The training system is bilateral cordon. Fermentation is in stainless steel with indigenous yeast. The wine is aged for 28 months in 5HL barrels and 10 Hl barrels and a minimum of 12 months in bottle before release. This is a very big wine that needs more time. In fact all of the wines from the 2015 vintage will last for many years. Serena said because of the position of vineyards and because they are at 500 meters the microclimate is not like any other in Tuscany. $120

Bruno di Rocca IGT Colli Toscana Centrale 2015 made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Sangiovese from vineyards planted in the early 1980’s. The soil is galestro and the training system is spurred cordon. Vinification is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeast. Aging for a minimum of 28 months in tonneaux for the Sangiovese and for the Cabernet Sauvignon in barriques (350 liters).  Nicola said Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be aged in barriques. The wine spends a minimum of 12 months in bottle before release. It is difficult to make this type of wine where the Cabernet Sauvignon does not dominate but this is a soft elegant wine.

It was a pleasure listening to the knowledgeable and interesting Serena speak about the wines of Montefili, the different grapes, and the other wineries in the area. Nicola made the right choice when he hired her.

Serena gave use a few bottles of wine to have at lunch and what better choice can there be than steak and Sangiovese.

Note: When we were at the winery they were harvesting the olives. Serena said 2019 was not a great year for olives but because of their location and microclimate their oil will be fine.

 

 

 

 

 

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