Castellani Chianti Classico Riserva 2012
The Castellani Family produce classic wines in Tuscany since more than 150 years. Every generation continually experiment with their vineyards and cellars in order to select the best Tuscan wines to be bottled under the family brand.
Exporters of wine since 1903, the Castellani family have founded their high-quality wines on the belief that "the quality of the wine starts in the vineyard". For the past 25 years, the family has worked hard to refine the soil types and microclimates that enhance their 'great Tuscan vines', investing in research and new technologies to ensure the Castellani name continues to be associated with 'memorable wines'.
As a warm breeze rustles new sprouts, the picturesque Tyrrhenian Sea serves as the backdrop for rolling hills of grapevines that spread as far as the eye can see. There are many ways to describe the illustrious Central Italian wine region known as Tuscany, but Piergiorgio Castellani and his family use only one word: home. The Castellani family has lived and produced wines for over a century in Tuscany, where the craft of winemaking has been honed and passed down for generations.
A believer in maintaining the balance between nature and the modern world, Piergiorgio and his family reside in the middle of one of his vineyards, which helps influence the personal closeness he feels to the wine his family makes. “I think this is the best way to certify the quality of what you produce; is when you live in the cultivation that you farm,” he says. The special conditions, both climatic and cultural, that exist in Tuscany already offer everything a winemaker needs, but that could quickly change if the land they cultivate is not cared for.
It’s this 360-degree commitment to the environment that enables Piergiorgio to produce high-quality wines year after year. He renounces using chemical treatments and is continually updating his vineyards to maintain organic and natural farming techniques. This confluence between traditional winemaking practices, modern technological advances, and a deep reverence and appreciation for nature fuels the Castellani family’s continued success in producing incredible, robust Italian wines.
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.