Unfailingly Delicious Felsina: June 2023

 In This Newsletter:

Special Feature
The Wines of Felsina
Unfailingly Delicious Felsina
2017 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia – The Accidental Wine Company
Today we embark on an exploration of Felsina Winery and its rich history of crafting exceptional wines. Nestled in the heart of Tuscany, Felsina Winery has been producing world-class wines since its establishment by Domenico Poggiali in 1966. The winery’s name ties back to the Etruscan roots of Castelnuovo Berardenga where it is located. With a commitment to tradition, quality, and sustainability by the next two generations of the Poggiali family, the winery has become a beacon of excellence with timeliness consistency in the wine industry.

The winery’s vineyards are situated in the prestigious Chianti Classico region, renowned for its picturesque landscapes and ideal terroir for grape cultivation. Felsina Winery’s commitment to organic and sustainable farming practices ensures that each grape is nurtured to perfection, resulting in wines that truly capture the essence of the region.

I open up bottles of Chianti Classico when I know the moment is ripe for a perfect food and wine pairing experience. I open up bottles of Felsina when I want to take my friends and guests beyond the meal, and into an eye-opening appreciation of sangiovese and the terroir of Tuscany. In a region that’s riddled with examples of high production wine best suited for the average trattoria pasta, the true gems stand well apart. These wines are a testament to dedication and expertise, and are more giving than their Montalcino counterparts. It’s hard to say there’s a more apt example of Italian red wine than what Felsina bottles year in and year out.

Main Wines of the Estate:
  1. Felsina Chianti Classico Berardenga Riserva: This iconic wine captures the essence of the Tuscan terroir. Crafted from a blend of Sangiovese grapes harvested in Castelnuovo Berardenga, it boasts a vibrant ruby color and seductive aromas of ripe cherries, red berries, and subtle spice.
  2. Felsina Rancia Riserva: As the pinnacle of Felsina’s portfolio, Felsina Rancia is a true masterpiece. Crafted from a rigorous selection of Sangiovese grapes grown in the renowned Rancia vineyard, this single-vineyard Chianti Classico Riserva embodies elegance, complexity, and age-worthiness. This wine is a must-try for enthusiasts seeking a truly extraordinary Chianti Classico experience.
  3. Fontalloro: Another gem from Felsina Winery, this wine showcases the winery’s commitment to expressing the unique character of their property and the potential greatness achieved in blending. This Tuscan IGT wine is crafted from a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot, sourced from vineyards in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. With its rich, velvety texture, enticing aromas of ripe black fruits, herbs, and tobacco, and a long, satisfying finish, Fontalloro embodies the perfect marriage of tradition and innovation.

Felsina Wines Available Now:

Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, 2016 1.5L $79 special, 7 bottles available

Wine Advocate 94 points “Streamlined and elegant, this mid-weight red trots out notes of grilled herb and dark fruit nuances that segue to spice, tilled earth and savory tobacco, with great complexity. This 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Berardenga is still a bit closed and tight, but this beautiful wine boasts all the best qualities of this vintage. It shows elegance and power, two contrasting characteristics that only work well together in the world’s most achieved expressions. The most satisfying aspect of this Riserva is the crisp acidity on the close that keeps the palate refreshed and ready for the next sip.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “This red offers density and focus, creating an ideal frame for the cherry, strawberry, almond, leather and earth flavors. A firm backbone of tannins lends structure and the finish persists, leaving an accent of bitter almond. Best from 2022 through 2040. —B.S.”

Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, 2018 750ml $33 special, 18 bottles available
James Suckling 94 points “This is a very solid, full-bodied riserva with firm and chewy yet fine-grained tannins that are nicely layered and intense. Very drinkable now, but a year or two of bottle age will soften it. Drink or hold.”
Vinous 93+ points “The 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva is a powerful, brooding wine. Readers will have to be patient with the 2018, as it needs time to soften. The tannins are especially potent today. Time brings out a whole range of black cherry, plum, gravel, spice, game and leather notes. The Riserva spent 16 months in oak of various sizes.”

Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, 2017 750ml $48 special, 8 bottles available
James Suckling 95 points “Plenty of fruit concentration with cherry and strawberry aromas and flavors. Full-bodied with chewy tannins and lots of concentration. Intense and rich. Give it a year or two to come together.”
Vinous 95 points “The 2017 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is incredibly polished and sophisticated. Silky tannins give the 2017 its racy, sleek personality. Over the last year, the 2017 has really settled into a gorgeous place. There is plenty of vintage 2017 intensity, but Rancia is distinctly medium in body and restrained. The wilder side of Sangiovese, one of the signatures of Rancia and Fèlsina more broadly, tastes a bit baked out. I can’t wait to see how the 2017 develops over the coming years and decades.”

Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, 2018 750ml $48 special, 26 bottles available
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, 2018 1.5L $115 special, 10 bottles available

Vinous 97 points “The 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is an absolutely stunning wine. The archetype of Rancia in the past has been of a big, potent Chianti Classico but in 2018, Rancia is a wine of mind-blowing elegance and finesse. Silky, perfumed and indescribably finessed, the 2018 dazzles from start to finish. It’s a magical wine in every way.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2018 is an unusual vintage that shows an especially austere character. Off the bat, it must be said that the Fèlsina 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia would certainly benefit from more cellar time and a long drinking window. The Rancia is elegant and streamlined with a medium-bodied style that breaks from some of the more concentrated vintages we’ve seen in the past. The bouquet reveals a lot of dark or black character with blackcurrant, tar, resin, iron ore and a dusty hint of dry graham cracker (which reminds us of the vintage heat). Structurally, the wine offers a solid and firm footing, but it would benefit from further evolution.”

Felsina Berardenga Fontalloro Toscana IGT, 2018 750ml $59 special, 36 bottles available
Felsina Berardenga Fontalloro Toscana IGT, 2018 1.5L $128 special, 11 bottles available

Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2018 Fontalloro is bright, floral and full of energy. In most vintages, Fontalloro is quite open, but the 2018 is especially nervy and taut. That won’t be an issue in time, of course, but readers should plan on being patient. Sangiovese is so expressive here. A whole range of floral and savory accents lingers on the close.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “To my palate, the 2018 vintage sometimes feels a little too ripe or baked. I was reminded of those characteristics when tasting the Fèlsina 2018 Fontalloro. There is plenty of dark fruit at its core, but this wine also reveals dry tones of jarred oregano, grilled Mediterranean herb, crushed aspirin and graham cracker. The mouthfeel is pleasantly lean and silky, and perhaps the wine delivers more in terms of length than it does weight or texture. A little more bottle age should help flesh out and soften these results.”

Felsina Berardenga Fontalloro Toscana IGT, 2019 750ml $62.50 special, 36+ bottles available
James Suckling 96 points “A fresh and crunchy Fontalloro with currants, orange peel and hints of peaches and cedar. Medium body, firm and fine tannins and a crisp and bright finish. Lots of energy and verticality to this! Drink after 2025.”
Vinous 94 points “The 2019 Fontalloro is terrific. In this vintage, the blend of three vineyards is a plus in giving a wine endowed with density, resonance and plenty of Sangiovese character. Dried herbs, leather, incense, tobacco and cedar open with time in the glass.”

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