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Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva 1997

Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
  • W&S93
0% ABV
  • WS96
  • D94
  • WE93
  • V93
  • WS91
  • JS91
  • JS93
  • WE91
  • JS93
  • WE93
  • WS91
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • RP90
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • JS93
  • RP91
  • WS92
  • JS92
  • WE91
  • TP90
  • RP91
  • TP91
  • WS90
  • WS88
  • RP88
  • W&S90
  • W&S93
  • WE91
  • WE89
  • WS86
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Winemaker Notes

This is an exquisite, traditionally styled Chianti Classico from the outstanding 1997 vintage. A dark garnet color in the glass leads to an intense bouquet with wild berries, leather, spice, and dark, ripe cherries. An elegant, harmonious Chianti Classico with great finesse and length that will grace any cellar or kitchen table, and at a great price as well!

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
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Castello di Volpaia

Castello di Volpaia

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Castello di Volpaia, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Image of 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.

Famous for its food-friendly, approachable wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This sub-zone of Tuscany has it all—sweeping views of undulating hills, the hot Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine, and a rich artistic heritage. Historically packaged in short, round, straw-covered bottles known as “fiaschi” and containing insipid red liquid, Chianti today is typically not your Italian grandfather’s pizza wine. The heart of the Chianti zone is known as Chianti Classico, as the region has expanded its boundaries over time to capitalize on the wine’s fame, thus diluting its reputation. Within Chianti there are seven other subzones with unique characteristics, including Colli Senesi, Colli Fiorentini, and Chianti Rufina.

Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 20% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Mammolo, and Marzemino, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah have also been approved in more recent years. Basic, inexpensive Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner involving red sauce. At its apex, it is savory and rustic with high acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, salami, balsamic vinegar, and smoky tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

YNG513328_1997 Item# 50838