It has not been easy to find a moment to type this offer given the Bordeaux fixation of late, but we are pleased to release these two hugely impressive 2016s from Felsina Berardenga, namely 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva ‘Rancia’, Felsina Berardenga (£225 per six bottle case in bond) and 2016 Fontalloro, Felsina Berardenga (£230 per six bottle case in bond). Simon's offer, below.
I think Antonio Galloni’s introduction to the wines is particularly pertinent, as not only does he commend the qualities of the wines, but he also stresses the point about value – something that the Felsina wines in the best vintages offer in spades.
My visit to Fèlsina was one of the many highlights of my most recent trip to Chianti Classico. I tasted a wide range of wines with Giuseppe Mazzocolin and Giovanni Poggiali. Even after a long day, it was frankly hard to leave the tasting room. The wines were every bit that compelling. The estate's 2016s and 2015s are simply magnificent. Readers will get a very good sense of the elegance of 2016 and the power of the 2015s with this range. While it is certainly tempting to focus on the flagships, both the Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva are fabulous choices for readers looking for ageworthy wines that are affordable, something that has always been a strong suit at Fèlsina, where prices remain exceedingly fair. More than anything else, though, Fèlsina represents all the best values of Chianti Classico and its wines. - Antonio Galloni, February 2019
The southern sector of Chianti is home to Felsina Berardenga; more precisely, to the northeast of Siena in the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga. This highly regarded estate is owned by Giuseppe Mazzocolin with winemaking directed by consultant oenologist, Franco Bernabei. The estate produces a typically broad portfolio of wines, although our principal interest has always centred on these two particular wines. Time and time again, it is the intensity and elegance of both the Rancia and the Fontalloro that prove so captivating; two character traits that are not always easily achieved in tandem. These are textured and rich with a stunning purity of fruit.
‘Rancia’ comes from its namesake vineyard, a six-hectare parcel which enjoys high altitudes and southwestern exposure. The altitude is a key factor in the balance that it achieves as this location permits for a long, even ripening period, resulting in beautifully concentrated Sangiovese. The Fontalloro comes from two vineyards in the Chianti Classico zone and two in Chianti Colli Senesi. This is why it is marketed under a cuvée name as opposed to a Chianti designation. This blend of fruit from different vineyard parcels leads to an effortless Sangiovese. Side by side, these two wines illustrate the dramatically different styles of Sangiovese as the notes below reveal. Whereas the Rancia is firmer and tauter in style with remarkably elegant streamlined fruit, the Fontalloro has a much bolder fruit and obvious intensity. In great vintages both have the ability to age for decades with ease but broaching after five or six years in bottle can often prove rewarding. I am still kicking myself for having ploughed through a case of the 1990 Rancia, when it and I were relatively young! It would have been fascinating to see more evolution, but every bottle was so impressive that I could not resist. Lesson learned.
These two 2016s rank with the best this estate has produced…
2016 Chianti Classico Riserva ‘Rancia’, Felsina Berardenga
(94-97+) points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
£225 per 6 bottle case in bond
The 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is yet another magnificent wine in this range from Fèlsina. Silky, gracious and inviting, the 2016 starts off gradually and then builds, gaining volume and explosiveness with air. A wine of breadth, textural intensity and pure power, the 2016 Rancia is shaping up to be epic. That's pretty much all there is to it. Drink 2024-2046
2016 Fontalloro, Felsina Berardenga
(93-96) points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
£230 per 6 bottle case in bond
The 2016 Fontalloro is marked by vertical lift and a level of sheer structural intensity that is rare for this usually more sensual wine. Powerful, deep and also quite reticent, the 2016 is going to need a number of years before it starts drinking well. Even so, that it is a very special wine in the making is abundantly evident. Drink 2024-2046