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Castellinuzza e Piuca is a small family owned winery in the hilltop town of Lamole, halfway between Siena and Florence, home to some of the highest elevation vineyards in the Chianti Classico zone. Their Rosso Toscana is a bit of a throwback, a co-fermentation and maceration of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Malvasia Bianca like Chianti would have been made in the old days. Fermented with indigenous yeast and macerated on the skins for 8-10 days, they wine then aged for 12-14 months in concrete tank before it is bottled with only minimal filtration. A beautiful ruby red in the glass, this wine has great freshness and tension, backed by good acidity and medium, but rustic tannins. Notes of fresh cherry, dried cherry, red forest fruit, dried flowers, and an herbal undercurrent. Juicy and fun, but with enough complexity to keep it engaging all the way through, this would pair wonderfully with any sort of roasted poultry and fall flavors. Oskar Kostecki
From very old vines, this is very much in the same mold as the Chianti – and was vinified identically – but is considerably deeper and rounder without any additional wood, alcohol, or extract – just a direct expression of the old vines. I think this is remarkable – it strikes a fascinating balance between palate-enveloping darker fruit and finesse. JW
Aside from Gregory Dal Piaz’s fervent recommendation, I fell for Lecci e Brocchi for obvious reasons: the wine tastes like Chianti – very good Chianti, in fact. It’s aromatically quite intense, with bright red fruit bound to stone and savory rocky herbs. On the light side of medium-bodied, the palate follows the aromas – if anything the stony-iron character is more present. This is a very harmonious, long, and quite elegant Chianti. Jamie Wolff
The Chianti Classico Riserva is a more serious reflection of the same principles underlying Retromarcia. It is produced from a plot of 40-year-old Sangiovese vines that contain around 5% Canaiolo Nero and naturally yield about half as much fruit as the young vines used for Retromarcia. The wine is fermented for 3-4 weeks on skins in steel and then aged for 2 years in old wooden botti and unlined cement tanks.
While I always love the wines from Monte Bernardi, every year Sa’etta is one of the most compelling. The organic viticulture, reflective sandstone soils, extra élevage result in wines of great purity, lift, tension, and dare I say, flair. There’s the beautiful characteristic Morello cherry fruit (though perhaps given a boost of florality and finesse here). This is underlain by a deep sense of nearly salty minerality (not just acidity, though this is also expressed, despite the warmth of the vintage). And finally there’s this savory, energetic kick to the finish, which pulls off the neat trick of not just length, but expansiveness; there’s real dimension and style here to match the stoniness at the core of the wine. A real treat now, but this should be splendid with 8-12 years and beyond in the bottle. John McIlwain
A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Verdot, this is the only Super Tuscan we carry in the store, and an anomaly within the character. Not over-extracted or over-oaked, this is a brighter and fresher expression, with a beautiful mix of red and black fruit and ample acidity. Notes of dried herbs and hay round out the palate. Great now, this will only improve with time. Oskar Kostecki