Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Riserva 2012
Blend: 90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Tenuta di Arceno is an ancient Tuscan estate with a diverse portfolio of the highest quality wines across two classification levels – three wines centered on the native Sangiovese grape in the Chianti Classico DOCG collection; and three wines celebrating the estate’s international varieties under the Toscana IGT designation. The estate is situated at the southernmost-edge of Chianti Classico in the butterfly-shaped commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga, closest in proximity to Siena and rightfully referred to as ‘the most Senese Chianti Classico. It’s home to other world-renowned producers and stylistically distinct from counterparts to the north.
The estate is 1,000 total hectares (2,500 acres) of which 90 hectares (220 acres) are planted to vines – the remaining land is preserved for native vegetation including 50 hectares (125 acres) of olive orchards. Separated into 63 distinct vineyard blocks, the vineyards are planted to 50% Sangiovese and 50% international varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The ancient walled town of San Gusmè, provides a breathtaking backdrop for the vineyards of Tenuta di Arceno.
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.