( Nearly done with this report, just the 2017 Chianti Classico to go, and I’m finished. Will reply to questions asap)
Each year the Consorzio puts on terrific event at the (former) Leopalda Train Station. This is a large building, lacking in any form of natural light, but making up for it by keeping the temperature inside relatively conducive to evaluating wine; that it’s in February doesn’t hurt, either.
This report has such a hodgepodge (e.g. 2017 Riserva and 2016 GS, etc.) of wines that just don’t fit into the other report, but if you dig deep, you’ll find some truly interesting offerings. I had fun with many of these wines.
The wines at this tasting spanned several categories – not all producers release their wines at the same time. For instance, while some were showing the 2018 Chianti Classico wines, others won’t show those until next year, or later. 2016 Riserva, 2017 Gran Selezione, and lots of variations at this tasting. A rather comprehensive event.
I’ve written previously on how the event is organized, etc., so I’ll take this time to describe in detail the wines tasted, with my usual categories of:
- very highly recommended, highly recommended, recommended, and not rated/just not interesting
Very Highly Recommended
sadly, none tasted on this day
2016 Fontodi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo – Woodsy, herbal spice, ripe red fruits, lovely. Already offering a long finish, avg+ complexity, and a round, sweet tannin finish. However, I’m finding this a bit foursquare. Highly enjoyable for most, not something I gravitate toward. For the style, structure, it’s highly recommended. Drink now thru 2042.
2017 Maurizio Alongi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna Barbischio – Elegant, subtle power, and cheeky length. Lovely, and right in my wheelhouse. I only wish I could find it more often. This won’t make old bones, but it’s ready now, and will likely even improve in the short term. One of my most favorite producers in this region, and in Italia. highly recommended
2017 Le Filigare Chianti Classico Riserva Maria Vittoria – Red floral, leather, Tuscan dust/scrub bush, etc. There’s serious depth here, and plenty of elegance, too; one of the best 2017 riserva tasted at this event. Very long; this caresses, it soothes. Brilliant, bravo! highly recommended+
2016 Le Filigare Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – Really nice, quite long already. Some complexity now, and shows the overall structure to develop more. Med/Full body, deep, and broad. A joy. highly recommended
2016 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Colonia – Really herbal, floral – even some citrus. Well balanced, and I’m really loving the tension, structure, and finish. My favorite Colonia to date? Probably. Easily highly recommended, drink 2022-2044. Excellent.
2016 Casa Sola Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – Wow, totally in my wheelhouse. Superb tension/acidity, excellent balance, generous, elegant length. I’m in love with this. It’s med+ body, with complexity, and structure to spare. Bravo! Drink 2022-2043. highly recommended
2016 Casa Emma Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – Holy smokes this is delicious. Loads of acids, ripe red berries, some toast, raspberry, etc. Med/me finish that will no doubt improve with time. This is well-judged, and a great pleasure; super fine, sweet tannins. Almost meditative. highly recommended
2016 Fattoria Le Fonti Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – Excellent, and likely to improve from here. This struck me as a very complete, thoroughly stunning effort. The nose shows great typicity, with freshness that follows through to the medium/medium+ bodied palate. The finish is caressing, silken, and long. A brilliant wine, with a brilliant future. There’s something(s) for old/new palates alike to appreciate here. 100% Sangiovese, sadly just 1,3k bottles produced. For my palate, I’d open my first one in 3-5 years, as I know the reward will be great. Strong buy alert. Drink 2022-2039; all natural winegrowing here.
2017 Poggio al Sole Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Casasilia – This is the real deal, wow. Superbly balanced, long, elegant, deep and broad, this is easily in the top 2 of all 2017 GS wines tasted today. Bravo! Drink 2021-2040. highly recommended
2012 Castello Di Lamole Chianti Classico le Stinche Riserva – Red fruits, some soil, rivers of acids meet fine, sweet tannins; the finish is 30s +. Such soul, resonance with these soulful wines. Emotional, and delicious, my holy grail, so to speak. Drink now thru 2034+. highly recommended
2014 Castello Di Lamole Chianti Classico le Stinche – Round, spicy, layered, deep, gorgeous, elegant, long. The full package. Love it. Drink now – 2028. highly recommended+
2016 Podere il Palazzino Chianti Classico Argenina – Bright, exciting, round, layered, focused; excellent length, flavors. Really like this. Want a case or more. Ideal every day Chianti Classico. A touch of mint on the end makes it even more interesting. BIO, traditional, delicious. Bravo, Edoardo. Drink 2020-2035. highly recommended+
2017 Marchesi Mazzei Chianti Classico Castello di Fonterutoli – ** this is for the Gran Selezione ** Earth, herbs, leather, warm, ripe cherry and some pomegranate. Warm, soft medium body with an creamy oak grip on the finish. Many will love it, it’s not to my taste. For the style, very easily recommended
2017 Monteraponi Chianti Classico Riserva Il Campitello – It’s nice, though I’m finding many more in this challenging vintage that are compelling/exciting. A safe bet, though not something I will look for. Drink 2020-2034. recommended
2017 Monte Bernardi Chianti Classico Riserva – Forest, soil, mushrooms, black truffle. Medium-bodied, juicy, structure, but falls short of compelling. That said, if offered a glass, or if seen on a list, it’s a safe/sure bet. Lovely growing here, in a very high position in the region. Lingering finish. Drink 2021-2037. recommended
2017 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia – Herbs, red/purple flowers, and red/dark red fruits follow from the nose to the med/med+ bodied palate. Decent length; may improve a bit in the short term, but not something I’ll look to acquire. Nonetheless, recommended. Drink now thru 2029.
2017 San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico Riserva Le Baroncole – Elegant, full-ish, well-lifted, and set to improve in the short term, though its not going to make any really old bones, either. If I see this on a wine list, it’s a pretty easy/safe decision. recommended
2017 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva – Forest, soil, red fruits, autumn leaves.The wild scrub character follows to the medium-bodied, rather elegant palate. This won’t make old bones, but it’s sure to develop over the next 2-4 years; drink thru 2036. recommended
2017 Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico Riserva – Wow, so much pine: cone, tar/sap, tree, etc; herbal, then rolls into some lovely red fruits, soil. The palate is quite lovely, and there’s substantial length. Bravo, Alessandro! The vintage might keep the price very favorable; might be one to load up on while others are sleeping. Drink 2020-2034. recommended+
2017 Azienda Agricola Caparsa Chianti Classico Caparsino Riserva– Shows good promise, but this riserva is a bit closed just now. My only nit, today is the finish, it’s rather brief. Attractive aromas, good+ quality. Likely to improve. recommended
2016 La Sala Chianti Classico Gran Selezion Il Torriano – Herbal, some lemon rind, soil. Complex, med/full body, with good length, and structure – should age pretty well; my only nit is it could have used a touch more acidity to better balance. Drink now thru 2032. recommended
2016 Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Margone – Really pretty wound up just now, but also packing a lot of fruit, and acid, too. Mostly resolved, sweet tannins, and a long finish. The structure bodes well for the future; avg+ complexity already. Very easily recommended, drink 2021-2039.
2016 Fattoria di Montecchio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Pasquino – Red berries, some spice, cream. Insufficient acidity to keep for a while, so best to enjoy now thru 2027. Some additional complexity may develop; tannins are round, sweet. Med. finish. recommended
2016 Castello di Albola Chianti Classico Santa Caterina Gran Selezione – Plum sauce, raspberry sherbet, some vanilla glaze. Med/Full body that seems to lack sufficient acidity for the long haul That said, it’ll please a lot of people straightaway. Some heat detracts. For the style, recommended. Now thru 2031.
2016 Carpineto Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – Deep soil tones – mushrooms, sous bois, forest. Good, not great acidity. Average finish, already resolved tannins. recommended
2016 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo – Fairly classic build, with some nice soil driven notes, topped up with interesting notes of tomato leaf, basil, Tuscan dust, and dark cherry. A good effort, but I can think of many GS that I like for less money. That said, most/many will be very happy with what’s in the bottle. I would be happy to drink it, but I’m not a buyer. Drink 2020-2031. recommended nonetheless.
2017 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Coltassala – Ripe red fruits, balancing acidity, good+ length and complexity already. A fine effort, but one for the short/mid-term to be sure. Drink 2020-2029. Easily recommended
2017 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo (re-taste) – Cherry liqueur, ripe red berries, even a touch raspberry sauce. The palate is full, but not as deep as I’m initially led to believe. Finish is medium, acids are good, and tannins are already integrated. Not to my taste, though most will greatly enjoy. For the style, it’s easily recommended. Drink now thru 2029
2016 Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto di Campolungo – A freshly opened bottle that was less than thrilling. Lots of base soil notes at first; just didn’t develop as I felt it should. Perhaps a less than perfect bottle. A correct bottle, in say 5-6 more years, should be good, at least. Based upon past experiences with this producer, this is, at least, recommended
2016 Il Poggiolino Le Balze Toscana IGT – ** this has been repackaged into the Gran Selezione designation now ** I’m digging the nose, with its herbal flirtations, but the palate is a bit muddled just now. Not sure it’s going to find its center. That said, plenty will greatly enjoy the succulent red berry middle, and avg/avg+ final. For the style, I suppose it’s recommended
2016 Villa La Sesta Chianti Classico Il Palei – Red fruited, a bit tannic just now, but with good/good+ potential. Look for this to improve a bit in a few more years. Drink 2022-2029. recommended+
Not Rated/Just Not That Interesting
2017 Marchesi Mazzei Chianti Classico Castello di Fonterutoli – ** This is for the Gran Selezione Badiola ** There are 2 different GS wines from the same producer in this vintage ** Much more high-toned than the GS from this producer (i.e. non Badiola) tasted just before it. This is OTT for my palate, and is more in the cocktail wine genre. The Caymus of Toscana.
2017 Brogioni Maurizio Chianti Classico Riserva
2017 Antinori Chianti Classico Marchese Antinori Riserva Tenuta Tignanello – Red/dark red fruited, with some herbs/soil. Simple aromas, simple flavors, but it finishes with a long, creamy oak coating that many will deeply enjoy. Drink now thru 2029.
2017 Castello di Meleto Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna Poggiarso
2016 Le Miccine Chianti Classico Gran Selezione