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Very Volpaia

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Chianti Classico 2013, Volpaia ($26.65, 10858262)
Sangiovese (90%) and Merlot (10%) from organically farmed vines. Manually harvested. Destemmed and lightly crushed. Alcoholic fermentation with indigenous yeasts and twice-daily punch-downs in temperature controlled (80-86F) tanks lasted 14 days. The wine was then left to macerate on the skins for seven more days. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was transferred to Slavonian oak botti for 14 months’ maturation. Lightly filtered. Reducing sugar: 1.6 g/l. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Rézin.
Textbook Chianti nose of cherry, dried leaves, tobacco and terracotta. Medium-bodied and silky textured. Lean fruit, bright acidity, Burgundian tannins, a mineral substrate and a drying, bitter-edged finish give it an appealing austerity. Balanced and approachable. (Buy again? Sure.)

Chianti Classico 2013, Riserva, Castello di Volpaia ($36.75, 00730416)
100% Sangiovese from organically farmed vines grown in five vineyards. The grapes from each parcel are vinified separately and the best barrels are blended to make this bottling. Manually harvested. Destemmed and lightly crushed. Alcoholic fermentation with indigenous yeasts and twice-daily punch-downs in temperature controlled (80-86F) tanks lasted 14 days. The wine was then left to macerate on the skins for seven more days. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was matured for two years, 80% in used Slavonian oak botti and French oak casks and 20% in new French oak cask, then blended and lightly filtered. Reducing sugar: 2.0 g/l. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Rézin.
Closed at first but eventually gorgeous: cherry, leather, sandalwood, “terracotta tiles” (per another taster). Lusher than the Volpaia though still medium-bodied. Ripe but not heavy fruit, animating acidity, wonderful minerals and real depth. Quite tannic yet balanced. The oak is discreet (more so than in some earlier vintages, if memory serves), not that I’m complaining. Very long mineral-, leather- and tobacco-scented finish. Pure and structured, rich yet austere in that way that few non-Chianti reds can be. Even better in five to 10 years. (Buy again? Oh, yes.)

MWG October 27, 2016, tasting: flight 6 of 7

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Written by carswell

November 23, 2016 at 15:24

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