Castello Vicchiomaggio Agostino Petri Chianti Classico Riserva 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
After many adventurous years spent working in restaurants of Turin, Evian Les Bains and Paris, Federico Matta (born in Asti, Italy) started importing wine in London. F.S. Matta Ltd became the largest and most dynamic importer of Italian wines and spirits in the United Kingdom, introducing previously unknown products, such as Campari, Gancia, acqua San Pellegrino, Olio Bertolli, Bolla and a myriad of other products that, thanks to the English showcase, have become leading brands in exports. FS Matta Ltd was acquired by Beecham pharmaceutical group in order to diversify production in the wine sector. Federico Matta, still full of energy at 75 years, now focuses his efforts on Castello Vicchiomaggio which he purchased two years ago.
In 1970, after studying at the School of Viticulture and Enology in Alba (Piedmont, Italy), for three years while also being active in the trade of wines in the UK, John Matta (son of Frederio) began his career at Castello Vicchiomaggio. As an expert on the importance of soil characteristics, low yields and sustainable traditional agriculture, John initiated an extremely prudent, and highly innovative step at the time, replanting the vines in line with his philosophy. Sangiovese is predominant of course, along with Cabernet and Merlot. In the process of wine production, John prefers wines that use oak sparingly and is an avid supporter of traditional oak barrels. His style makes the production elegant characterized by excellent longevity.
The estate covers 140 hectares, of which 34 are vineyards, 10 are olive trees and the rest is park.
Among the cultivated varieties: the most prominent vine is our Sangiovese, which is the fundamental grape for Chianti Classico, but there are also other indigenous grapes such as Canaiolo and Colorino, as well as two international varieties which are Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The latter are in particular demand for the production of our famous IGT-certified red wines.
Castello Vicchiomaggio is also a well-known producer of internationally renowned wines. Wine has always been produced at the Castle and its owners, John and Paola Matta, dedicate their lives to preserving this centuries-old tradition.
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.