Castello di Volpaia Coltassala 1997
Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Color: Ruby red with excellent depth.
Bouquet: Intense, with the classical hint of ripe blackberries and a special nuance of vanilla.
Flavor: Full and harmonious, with intense length.
The Coltassala vineyard shares its name and location with a villa. The first Super-Tuscans were created in the 1970s by Chianti producers who rejected government mandates that determined which grapes were required to go into their wine, especially white grapes like Malvasia and Trebbiano.
The Super-Tuscans were also treated differently from Chianti, aged in small French barriques rather than in large Slovenian casks. Because they did not follow DOC regulations, the Super-Tuscans were entitled only to the lowest official designation of the time — vino da tavola. It wasn't until 1994 that the government recognized the high quality of the Super-Tuscans and gave the wine its own category — IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica). Volpaia first released Coltassala in 1980 as a Super-Tuscan. The Chianti Classico appellation followed suit, closing the quality gap between Chianti Classico and Super-Tuscans. Now Coltassala is a Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG cru even though it's the same Super-Tuscan wine of the 1980s.
International Wine Cellar - "Extremely aromatic, with berry, rose and carnation aromas. Full body. Firm tannins. Chewy finish. Closed right now. Give it time. Best after 2002. 775 cases made"
Castello di Volpaia Winery
Castello di Volpaia overlooks the village of Radda in Chianti. The town was built in the 11th century as a fortified village on the Florence/Siena border. Although only part of the original protective walls and two of its six towers are still standing, the medieval layout and buildings within the village are still intact, making Volpaia one of the best preserved villages of its period. Just as it has been for the last 900 years, the entire village is intimately involved in the production of wine and olive oil. The cellars, bottling plant, barrels and olive press are nestled within the original stone walls that have been carefully restored by owners Carlo Mascheroni and Giovannella Stianti Mascheroni and their children, Nicoló and Federica. View all Castello di Volpaia 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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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.