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Fattorie Melini Chianti Classico Riserva La Selvanella 2003

Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    13.25% ABV
    • D95
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    13.25% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Chianti Classico Reserva La Selvanella is Fattorie Melini's top wine and is a benchmark for Italian wine. With its 1969 debut vintage Tre Bicchieri veteran, La Selvanella was the first wine made from a single vineyard in Chianti and among the first in Italy. Gambero Rosso has declared La Selvanella a "crowning glory" and "standard-bearer of the zone's most traditional style."

    Critical Acclaim

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    Fattorie Melini

    Fattorie Melini

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    Fattorie Melini, Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
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    The Melini family constructed their first winery in 1705 in Pontassieve, a village on the outskirts of Florence. Their wine was consumed locally until 1860, when Laborel Melini collaborated in developing the straw-covered glass flask (fiasco), which made it possible for wine to travel safely overseas.

    Chianti Classico

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    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 for its superiority, 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’s Dalmasso commission added land to this historic zone 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 is therefore 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, tobacco, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic or tobacco.

    Sangiovese

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    The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Itaaly's elite red grape varieties 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

    Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and 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 success growing in California and Washington.

    In the Glass

    Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. 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 fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.

    Sommelier Secret

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

    MNC9073F_2003 Item# 109911