If you were to cut proprietor Giuseppe Mazzocolin’s veins the man would bleed Sangiovese, such is his passion for Tuscany’s most important native grape. Mazzocolin has a terrific set of new releases on his hands. The 2006s are glorious and benefit from a warm growing season that also saw good alternation of day and evening temperatures before the grapes got a final kick of heat that informs the wines. In 2007, I have only tasted the Chianti Classico so far, but if that wine is indicative, Felsina could have another superb vintage in store for fans of this venerable property. So far 2007 looks to be a vintage of ripe wines made in a more generous, if early maturing style, than the firmer 2006s. Not only are Felsina’s wines magnificent, they also remain exceedingly fairly priced in relative terms. Mazzocolin deserves much credit and support from readers for his consumer-friendly approach, especially in these challenging times."
Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia 2006
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
From 1983 on, Rancia' s 100% sangiovese has consistently reflected its own terroir, demonstrating a lengthy progression, a liveliness, and an elegance truly rare and distinctive.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is a vibrant, focused wine that flows with the essence of dark fruit, minerals and flowers. The wine possesses gorgeous length and proportion, all of which is framed by powerful yet well-integrated tannins. Simply put, this is a superb Chianti that also happens to be one of the best relative values in fine, age worthy wine. The Rancia is made from vines planted on poor soils at 420 meters above sea level. In 2006, the Rancia spent 16 months in French oak, of which 60% was new. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2026.
Fattoria di Felsina Winery
In the 17 published editions of Gambero Rosso, Italy’s acclaimed wine rating guide, this Tuscan estate has won the coveted Tre Bicchieri (Three Glasses) award 17 times. They are a favorite of IWM, Robert Parker, and any Tuscan wine enthusiast. And they did it by revealing the true essence of the Sangiovese grape and the Chianti Classico terroir. What this tells us is that this is a winery of consistency, producing Chianti Classicos with the ability to age up to two decades for the right vintage. Much like the great Brunello estates, it is the marriage of an ideal microclimate and the uncompromising commitment of a dedicated staff that educes the full character of Tuscany's noble grape, even in off vintages. Even more importantly, this is a producer who creates compelling wines and releases them at contained prices, making Felsina accessible to all wine enthusiasts and one of Italy's greatest values! View all Fattoria di Felsina Wines
About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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