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.
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.