Castello di Volpaia Coltassala Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2017
The Coltassala has a vivid ruby color. This is a well-structured, complex wine with an elegant nose and hints of vanilla, cacao and fruit.
Blend: 95% Sangiovese, 5% Mammolo
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Transparent and linear with currant and cherry aromas and flavors. It’s beautifully fine and bright with crushed cherries and berries and hints of strawberries. Pine needles and fresh herbs, too. Very silky tannins and a palate that shows poise and polish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
The 2017 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Coltassala is striking. Rich and ample, with tremendous depth, the 2017 shows all of the mystique that makes Sangiovese so alluring. Sweet dark cherry, dark plum, leather, licorice, menthol and tobacco build as the 2017 shows off its breadth and personality. The Coltassala has a bit more volume and oak influence than the other Volpaia wines, but it's an approach that works so well here.
A real beauty, the 2017 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Coltassala (made with organic fruit) shows medium-rich textural fiber with plenty of dark fruit, cherry, spice and leather. The important thing to mention here is how light and elegantly fragrant this wine remains despite the considerable heat and dryness of the growing season. In fact, all those fruit tones emerge with terrific purity and focus, backed by acidity and integrated structure, that invite an evening-long sampling with some medium-aged pecorino.
Aromas of exotic spice, dried aromatic herb, camphor and wood shop shape the nose. The austere palate shows dried cherry, prune and licorice alongside close-grained tannins that clench the lean finish. Give it a few more years so the tannins can unwind then drink sooner rather than later to capture the remaining fruit.
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.