Felsina Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva 2015  £49.95

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The Rancia vineyard lies entirely within the Chianti Classico zone, in the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga, north east of Siena. It is situated at 400 metres above sea level, facing south. The vines were planted between 1958-1982, with newer plantings using genetic material from the old Rancia vineyard. It covers approximately six hectares with a total of 13,980 vines. Vines are trained according to a simple guyot system, with an average yield of 40-45 hectolitres per hectare. Soils are quartzitic blue-grey sandstone, with layers of sand and calcareous albarese mixed with alluvial pebbles. In the higher areas, the soil is a limestone marl galestro mix. Grapes are hand-picked.

The 2015 vintage was excellent thanks to the regular weather conditions and the flawless quality of the grapes. The winter was temperate with alternating cold days and temperatures only dipping below zero on certain days. The spring was mild with medium-high temperatures favouring the regular budding of the foliage. The summer was excellent overall, with little rain and high temperatures in the months of July and August being compensated for by good diurnal variation. All the phenological phases (budding, flowering, fruit-set and veraison) were perfect. More than other years, 2015 enhanced the features of Sangiovese with unique and concentrated extract, anthocyans, polyphenols and varietal aromas. In terms of production, the quantity was much the same as the previous year.

After destemming and crushing, fermentation took place at 28-30°C, with automatic daily punching down of the cap, followed by 12-15 days maceration. Towards the end of fermentation, the wine was racked into first and second use French oak barrels, where it matured for 18-20 months. It aged for a further 8-12 months in bottle before release.

Deep ruby red in colour, Rancia opens with a spicy nose that then leads into floral and wild berry notes. Great elegance and finesse on the palate combine with a fine mineral note. It is opulent with ripe berry characters and a long, spicy finish.

94 Points Robert Parker

The 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is a tremendous wine with an impactful yet very elegant bouquet. The central theme here is darkness and richness, and you get both of those things to the extent that Sangiovese can offer. The magic here is that Sangiovese sticks stubbornly to its inner grace and elegance, especially in a classic vintage such as this. Gravel alberese soils add to the wine's overall sharpness and detailed focus. There is a touch of sweet cherry confit ripeness on the close. Some 40,000 bottles were made.

Revied by Monica Larner

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