Felsina Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva 2017  £55.00

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Felsina Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva

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.

This was an unusual vintage. Winter was cold, with several days when the temperature dropped below freezing, followed by a mild spring. In March, warm temperatures (over 20°C) favoured early budding but a cold snap in April saw frost damage some vines, leading to reduced yields. May began with thunderstorms, then conditions improved with above average temperatures through the summer months, including a record hot spell in late July. A return to normal temperatures with some rainfall from mid-August reinvigorated the vines and harvest was brought forward by about 15 days. The warm dry September ensuring the harvest was completed in two passes. Yields are lower but quality this year is excellent.

After destemming and crushing, fermentation took place between 28-30°C, with automatic daily punching down of the cap, followed by 12-15 days of maceration. Towards the end of fermentation, the wine was racked into French oak barrels, where it matured for 12-18 months. It was aged for a further 6-10 months in bottle before release.

Deep ruby red in colour, this wine is rich and spicy on the nose, with wild berry and floral notes. The palate is framed by tight knit tannins with opulent ripe berry fruit on a long, spicy finish.

94 Points RobertParker.com

Rancia is always one of my favorite wines from this storied appellation (and the Castelnuovo Berardenga subzone). This vintage threw quite a few challenges at the winemaking team, but the Fèlsina 2017 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia emerges intact, intense and beautiful. It is virtually unscathed by the heat and drought that marked this growing season. In fact, that brilliant radiance, linearity and energy of the Sangiovese grape comes through loud and clear. The bouquet is redolent of red fruit, wild berry, toasted almond, violet and potting soil. My score is a little lower (compared to past vintages) in terms of mouthfeel because I found this edition to be a bit shorter and less impactful on the finish, but not by much. It ages in barrique for up to 20 months. This vintage of Rancia saw 46,000 bottles released.

Revied by Monica Larner

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