The enticing personality of Sangiovese in Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva 2016

Tasting Note

Elegant, but with a strong personality. These are the first words coming to mind when tasting this Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva. The 2016  vintage presents both the power as the sophistication of Sangiovese.

It is fragrant with aromas of violet, blackberries and plums. On the palate fresh, with lifted acidity, elegant, smooth, and lots of black cherries,  bramble, liquorice, spice, mocha, tobacco, sage and leather.  While tasting, the Riserva stands out for its depth, its layered tannic structure, harmonious balance and medium to long finish. This is the result of the cooling altitude of Volpaia’s vineyards at 450 to 600 meters, the local micro-climate, and the soil. And ageing, a Chianti Riserva must age at least two years in oak.  Castello di Volpaia’s Chianti Classico Riserva, Coltassala and Il Puro highlight the terroir expression of Sangiovese.

Castello di Volpaia is made in one of the highest elevated vineyards in Chianti on top of the beautiful fortified or “walled” village Volpaia. The first document that mentions the cultivation of vines in the area of Volpaia dates back to 1172. Under the wings of Radda, Volpaia was one of the front-line strongholds for the Republic of Florence during the Florentine-Sienese wars.  The emblem for the Chianti League was the “Gallo Nero,” or “Black Rooster”, now a symbol for the wines of Chianti. 

Fast forward to 1966 when Raffaello Stianti, one of Italy’s top printers and bookbinders, purchased the estate to give it in 1972 to his daughter Giovannella and her husband Carlo Mascheroni as a wedding gift. For Giovanella’s 15th birthday she received another precious gift: an 18th-century Florentine ring in the shape of two foxes.  Put the vineyards and the ring together and you’ll get the Volpaia family’s coat of arms shown prominently on the Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva label. Volpaia means “fox’s lair” in Italian.

Wine Info

Style – full-bodied red

Grape varieties – 100% Sangiovese

Vintage – 2016

Country – Italy

Appellation – Chianti Classico DOCG

Region – Tuscany

Producent – Stianti Mascheroni Family

Winemaker – Lorenzo Regoli

Alcohol – 13,5%

Vineyards – Casavecchia, Casetto, Castellino, Campo a Prato, Pratolino, Santa Caterina, Santa Maria Novella, Vignavecchia

Cultivation – Certified organic

Ageing potential – 15 to 20 years

Serving temperature – 14º to 16º

Score – 93 points

Tip – The wine may be decanted ½ to 1 hour before serving

Castello di Volpaia – Chianti Classico Reserve