A true benchmark for Chianti, Castell’in Villa creates a wonderfully pur expression of Sangiovese and the 2010 might on of the best. Drink it now for a delightfully complex treat or age further.
Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy.
Organic, minimal intervention, wild yeast.
This historic winery is known for producing some of the most traditionally-crafted, age-worthy wines in the appellation. To illustrate this, they have also kept back an extensive library of older vintages. These wines can last at least 40 years, as is illustrated if you get a chance to try the first vintage of the Chianti Classico Riserva – the 1971.
The 298 hectare estate (with a modest 54 hectares of vineyards) sits atop a hill in Castelnuovo Berardenga. Most of its vineyards are on the south facing sides of the hill – with olive groves and forest interspersed throughout. Proprietress Principessa Coralia Pignatelli della Leonessa and her husband first saw the estate in 1967 and then bought the property in 1968. At that time, there was just the 13th century farmhouse and outbuildings along with one hectare of vineyards. They quickly set out to expand their plantings and to update the farmhouses. In doing so, they sought the advice of the Chianti consorzio, quickly eliminating the use of white grapes in their wine and soon thereafter switching to 100% Sangiovese. There are eight different vineyard sites which Coralia feels represent the various terroirs and microclimates that Tuscany has to offer. The soil is mainly alluvial with pebbles and sand, though in Poggio delle Rose, perhaps her top site, there are also concentrations of clay and limestone.
Sourced from their best vineyards within their property – at the southeast corner of Castelnuovo Berardenga with an altitude of approximately 300m in elevation. Organic viticulture is practiced. Soils are Alluvial with pebbles and a mixture of lime, clay and sand. Hand harvested between the second half of September and early October.
Grapes are hand harvested between the second half of September and early October and naturally fermented with native yeast in stainless steel tanks for 12-14 days. Wine is kept on skins for a little more than two weeks and aged in large Slavonian oak for 24 to 36 months.
Multifaceted, with layers of black cherry fruit, florals, savory herbs, spices, minerals and smoke. In 2010, everything is delivered with vibrant elegance and a lovely, silken texture.
There’s no hurry t drink this- you can age for another 10 years or so without problem. But, it’ll pair beautifully with traditional pasta dishes, lamb and creamy strong cheeses.