Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico 2017
#52 Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of 2019
Vivid ruby red. The nose has evident notes of red fruit and hints of cherries. On the palate, the wine is smooth and good structured with a fruity aftertaste.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Cherry, walnut and stone aromas and flavors. Medium body. Firm, lightly chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
Volpaia's Riserva is typically selected from the estate's highest parcels reaching 600 metres of elevation. As the hot 2017 vintage yielded small bunches and small berry with ripe skins but less ripe seeds, fermentation and maceration times were shortened for a gentler extraction. Indeed, this is quite soft with sweet, plump cherry buoyed by rather snappy acidity. Some dried floral nuances lend intrigue. Overall polished and polite but not for the long-haul. Drinking Window 2020 - 2025.
Castello di Volpaia is located in an 11th century village that bears the same name. It sits on a hilltop just north of the town of Radda in Chianti, 2,024 feet above sea level, in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. One of the most historical wineries of the region, Volpaia is owned by the Mascheroni-Stianti family and benefits from some of the highest altitude southern exposure vineyards of the area, delivering certified organic Sangiovese-based wines of finesse and elegance with a terroir approach.
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.