Specialty Club – February 2023

2016 San Felice, Poggio Rosso, Chianti Classico Riserva, Gran Selezione, $65

Winery Info: San Felice is based in the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga in the heart of Tuscany’s Chianti Classico region.    

They have about 140 hectares of vineyards surrounding the medieval hamlet and are recognized as a top producer in the region, with a strong commitment to viticultural research. 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 meet stricter aging requirements. This wine is produced in limited quantity and only in outstanding vintages. 2016 is proving to be a superb vintage for Chianti.

Grapes: 100% Sangiovese, aged 20 months in large French oak tonneaux and a further 12 to 15 months in bottle.

Vineyard: Sourced from select parcels of their Poggio Rosso vineyard in Castelnuovo Berardenga.

Flavor Profile: A bold and powerful Sangiovese that showcases the intense character of Castelnuovo Berardenga. It has complex layers of savory dark fruit, with notes of dried plum and spice, and hints of iron and mocha. While bold and robust, it is also quite elegant, with well-developed tannins and a long finish.

Availability: There is still some left of this vintage.

Drinking Window: Give this wine another five years to develop, then enjoy anytime up to 2033.

Food Pairing: Perfect with wild game, lamb, or roasted or grilled meats.

2020 Eladio Piñeiro, Envidia Cochina, Albariño, $31

Winery Info: Eladio Piñeiro is a long-time winemaker in Spain’s northwest coastal Rías Baixas region. In 2003 Eladio had to sell his winery in order to care for his ailing wife (she has thankfully recovered), but he kept his very best vineyards. When he decided to return to winemaking again, it was with a new outlook on life. He was determined to do things his own way, producing wines with meaning and soul. To that end, he farms biodynamically, making only small amounts, in a slow, meticulous process that includes lees aging and sometimes the addition of juice from previous vintages.

Grapes: 100% Albariño, from vines averaging 30 years in age. Aged six months on the lees in stainless steel and blended with up to 15% Frore de Carme (his higher end Albariño, aged over one year on the lees) from the previous vintage.

Vineyard: From vineyards in the Salnés Valley with granite, sandy soils. Farmed biodynamically.

Flavor Profile: Albariño, the predominant white grape in the Rías Baixas region, is known for producing fresh white wines, often with a touch of salinity. This one has everything you’d expect from the grape, with flavors of stone fruit, citrus, and ripe, juicy acidity. The longer lees aging and addition of juice from his older, more aged cuvée, imparts exceptional depth, texture, and complexity to this elegant wine.

Availability: There is very little left of this vintage.

Drinking Window: Drink now or over the next few years.

Food Pairing: Perfect for any type of seafood, or even white meat dishes.