2013 San Felice, Poggio Rosso, Chianti Classico, Gran Selezione, $60
Winery Info: San Felice is based in the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga in the southern part of Tuscany’s Chianti Classico region.
They have about 140 hectares of vineyards surrounding the medieval hamlet. In 1987 the University of Florence identified 278 distinct grape varieties in the region and planted an experimental vineyard at San Felice (the “Vitiarium”) with the goal of preserving Tuscany’s historic viticulture heritage. The Gran Selezione designation, which debuted in 2014, represents the pinnacle of quality in Chianti Classico. To earn this designation, wines must be made from a single vineyard (or a selection of an estate’s best parcels) and the aging requirements are longer. Poggio Rosso is produced in limited quantity and only in outstanding vintages.
Grapes: 100% Sangiovese, from select parcels of their Poggio Rosso vineyard in Castelnuovo Berardenga. Aged 20 months in large French oak tonneaux and a further 12 to 15 months in bottle.
Flavor Profile: This is an intense, rich, and powerful Sangiovese, with great depth and complexity. It has layers of lush, savory, dark fruit, dried plum, and a touch of chocolate. While bold and robust, it is also quite elegant, with well-developed tannins, smooth texture, and a long finish.
Availability: The distributor still has a small amount of this vintage left.
Drinking Window: Delicious now, or up to around 2026.
Food Pairing: Perfect with wild game, lamb, or roasted or grilled meats.
2018 Les Crêtes, Petite Arvine, $34
Winery Info: In the mid 1700’s, the Charrère family, originally from France, moved to Italy’s northwestern Valle d’Aosta (the Aosta Valley), which is today the smallest wine region in the country. The Charrères were farmers, but they didn’t plant their first grapes until 1955, with a focus on the indigenous varieties of the region. In 1989 they expanded the original estate and built the Les Crêtes winery. It is now the largest privately held vineyard and winery in the region, an alpine valley surrounded by the Italian, French, and Swiss Alps. The Petite Arvine grape is popular in both the Valle d’Aosta and in Switzerland, both of which claim paternity.
Grapes: 100% Petite Arvine. Aged on the lees for up to two months, with continual batônnage (lees stirring).
Vineyards: Champorrette and Bufferia, in Aymaville (AO) and Frissonnière, in Saint Christophe (AO). The soils are a mix of limestone and loose, sandy moraine.
Flavor Profile: This wine is mountain fresh, with delicate floral aromas, notes of citrus, and a touch of sea salt. It is balanced by a nice rich texture, food-friendly acidity, and great minerality. It’s rare to find Petite Arvine at all, and this is a wonderful example of what the grape can be.
Availability: There is more of this vintage available at the moment.
Drinking Window: Enjoy anytime over the next two or three years.
Food Pairing: This wine would pair well with charcuterie, seafood or shellfish, carpaccio, or dishes lemony or buttery preparations.