(2023) Six thousand bottles of this super-premium Chianti Classico were produced, the wine spending 20 months in 500-litre French oak barrels plus 15 months more in bottle before release. On chalk and gravel soils, this block of the vineyard was planted in the 1970s, and San Felice say the wine has 20 years+ of ageing potential. An ethereal aspect to this wine, there is suggestion of a fresh forest after the rain, also a wisp of smokiness along with firm cherry and raspberry fruit. Lots and lots of juiciness here, mouth-watering, agile, defying its 14.5% alcohol. That shows just a touch in the finish, but the whole picture is so fresh, balanced and delicious.
(2022) Composed of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, this was fermented in steel but the finest musts then matured six months in French oak. The wine then spends a minimum of five years on the lees plus five more in bottle before release. Very fine mousse, with a custard apple creaminess, some yeasty biscuit notes and a fat lemony fruit. With virtually no residual sugar it is taut, driven by citrus, and though there's a certain lean, wiry character, it is not mean or under-fruited. It is all about mouthwatering citrus and acid thrust, but the inherent ripeness avoids any suggestion of lacking generosity.
(2022) This blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir is partially fermented in oak and spends a minimum of 24 months on the lees. It is Brut, and opens with a very fine sense of minerals and small, summer blossom aromas. The fruit is elegant, with raspberry and redcurrant. In the mouth the mousse is cushiony and rich, with rosy red apple and those fragrant summer fruit and floral notes, ending with some richness but very good clarity, a pleasing touch of mouth-watering bitterness. A delicious, elegant and successful style.
(2022) Made from Trebbiano Spoletino, grown at 320 metres altitude. Aged six months on the Lees with some skin contact, the colour is light yellow, and the nose is pungent and aromatic, herbal with some wild scrubland notes, the palate is juicy and fruity, with plenty of grapefruit cut and energy, a pithy lemon and bags of personality.
(2022) Made from Gamay del Trasimeno, which is in fact a synonym for Grenache, this underwent spontaneous fermentation, with 20% whole bunches. After six months in cement tanks it was aged for a further 12 months in 1,000-barrels, six more months in bottle meaning a full two years of ageing. The colour is a soft and relatively pale ruby, that belies the power within. Firm cherry and cherry-pit aromas with a sheen of polished wood, then great sweetness of fruit onto the palate. Spices marry with the alcohol and sandy, but grippy, tannins to give lots of savoury, chewy character. There is well-judged acidity to balance.
(2021) Made from 70% Nero d’Avola fermented in open top barriques, plus Frappato fermented in amphorae where it remains in contact with the skins for up to 12 months. The wines are then blended and aged for six months in barriques and botti. There's an Amarone-like character here, a little bit dusty and yet with cherry and vanilla in the mix. In the mouth it is nicely elegant, with enough fruit sweetness but plenty of balancing sours and acids, the finish gastronomic and mouth-watering. Unusual and enjoyable.
(2021) An an alpine Chardonnay, weighing in with 14% alcohol by volume, there's a fairly obvious oak influence here, giving a wisp of Jack Daniels on the nose, but the balance of white fruit and freshness from these vineyards at 500– to 550-metres altitude is good. It was fermented and aged for 11 months in Bordeaux barriques, but then a further 22 months ageing on the lees in steel. On the palate there's interplay between juicy orange and peach, quite a full texture, with a fat waxy lemon quality, and again, good balancing acidity in a concentrated, grippy, serious style.
(2021) Most assuredly a Pinot Grigio that marches to a very different beat from your 'average' northern Italian example. This is a powerful, concentrated wine of texture, opening with white fruit, melon rind and peppery aromas, and striking the palate with real authority. I guess 14% ABV helps that, as does some oak ageing, but really it does show that skinny, leesy grip on the palate and the concentrated fruit that is much more 'Gris' than 'Grigio', with a broad chewy texture of fruit, extract and a even a touch of tannin. Besides that, however, the freshness and acid balance is excellent making this a gastronomic treat too. The best Pinot Grigio from Italy that I have tasted? Possibly, yes.
(2021) This is an excellent Pinot Noir from the Cantina Tramin. From two of their highest vineyards at over 450-metres altitude, it is fermented in large oak casks and aged in a combination of small French barrels and big oak casks for a further 18 months. It has a beautifully composed nose, with a warm cherry and red plum fruit spiced with tobacco and Sandalwood, an expressive beetroot earthiness adding depth. On the palate that juxtaposition of sweet and fleshy fruit with spicy structural tannins and pert acidity gives lovely balance. A full and rich wine, but with an edge that keeps the interest through the long finish.