Castagnoli Chianti Classico Riserva Terrazze 2016
But the Côte-Rôtie comparison may not be so far-fetched, after all. Thanks to its high elevation and thin, rocky soils, this is a decidedly bright, aromatic, almost exotic Chianti, with aromas of black olive, violets, iron, and smoked meat, that nonetheless boasts the firm structure and aging potential of Tuscany’s memorable 2016 vintage. Decanting is advised; pleasure is assured.
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The organic Castagnoli 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Terrazze has reverted to subtle tertiary definition with tarry smoke, pencil shaving and black licorice. Those aromas frame a core of black fruit, candied cherry and blackberry preserves. This wine carries rich fruit weight and medium-dark concentration.
Rocca di Castagnoli is an ancient medieval fortress from which the hamlet of Castagnoli originated. This place has historically been owned by many noble families the Tempi (whose coat of arms still represents the company) and the Ricasoli.
The winery, already present in the eighteenth century, has always been the economic center of the village and has always stood out for its great production quality as witnessed by the visit, in 1773, of the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo who praised the excellent management, the innovation and maintenance with which the land was conducted.
The village of Castagnoli stands out from the heart of the Chianti Classico, on a hill that the Etruscans already knew very well: surrounded by woods, vineyards and olive trees, overlooking the surrounding valley from the top of a hill that brings the mind back to remote times.
The company covers about 850 hectares of property with altimetric profiles ranging from 860 meters (hill of Monte Luco) to 380 meters. The vineyard hectares are 92, mainly Sangiovese, the base of the precious Tuscan wines produced.
In 1981 important renovations were carried out at the Villa and the Rocca with innovative processing criteria in the vineyards and in the cellar.
A winery has been created, while the cellars of the medieval fortress have been used for aging in wood, the barrel cellar, made up of the best French oak woods, aimed at obtaining wines of great personality, elegance, complexity and balance from taste over time.
One of the first wine regions anywhere to be officially recognized and delimited, Chianti Classico is today what was originally defined simply as Chianti. Already identified by the early 18th century as a superior zone, the official name of Chianti was proclaimed upon the area surrounding the townships of Castellina, Radda and Gaiole, just north of Siena, by Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany in an official decree in 1716.
However, by the 1930s the Italian government had appended this historic zone with additonal land in order to capitalize on the Chianti name. It wasn’t until 1996 that Chianti Classico became autonomous once again when the government granted a separate DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) to its borders. Ever since, Chianti Classico considers itself no longer a subzone of Chianti.
Many Classicos are today made of 100% Sangiovese but can include up to 20% of other approved varieties grown within the Classico borders. The best Classicos will have a bright acidity, supple tannins and be full-bodied with plenty of ripe fruit (plums, black cherry, blackberry). Also common among the best Classicos are expressive notes of cedar, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic or tobacco.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.