September 11, 2020
A Final Allocation from the Classic 2016 Vintage Has Arrived. Discover “One of the Great Estates in the World” and What is the “Best Value of Chianti Classico” Riserva.
“Fèlsina is one of the great estates in the world. It's as simple as that… More than anything else, though, Fèlsina represents all the best values of Chianti Classico… I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about Chianti Classico and its wines…” - Antonio Galloni, Vinous
As you know by now, whenever we are presented with key selections from the 2016 vintage in Tuscany – we move quickly in securing what we can from the rapidly disappearing year. In our opinion, this is one of the grand vintages of our lifetime. Why, because 2016, like 2010 and 2013, is a classic year built on harmony and a more balanced growing season, where the wines express rich fruit and depth, but with more finesse and elegance than years like 2011, 2012, and 2015. There is acidity and freshness present here from cooler conditions and a longer growing season that is simply awesome – the aromatics alone will transport you to Tuscany and get you excited about the promise these wines have to offer. And with our recent Sangiovese based offerings of 2016 Percarlo, as well as I Sodi, Flaccianello and Le Pergole Torte, let alone Tignanello, how can we match these benchmark expressions of Sangiovese from the Tuscan hills?
The short answer is Fèlsina – but this time it is not the flagship Fontalloro, or even the prized Vigna Rancia. We want price relief, and that begins with the stunning 2016 Fèlsina Chianti Classico Riserva Berardenga. We tasted the wine this past week and it is truly another electrifying expression of the noble Sangiovese from the near perfect vintage. So, while we wait on the highly anticipated arrivals of the 2016 Fontalloro and Vigna Rancia, we are excited to share with you that the straight Fèlsina Chianti Classico Riserva has just arrived.
We are not alone, Antonio Galloni preached, “the Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva are fabulous choices for readers looking for ageworthy wines that are affordable.” Many more have echoed this sentiment, critics to collectors, and these are arguably the finest releases from Felsina and Chianti in more than 25 years of reviews. It is a scenario where we completely agree with all the reviews and statements glorifying this wine and vintage. In the case of Fèlsina, few wines have been able to capture such attention at these price points other than the 2016 releases. For IWM, these are all explosive expressions that can be enjoyed by both the ardent Tuscan connoisseur and the Burgundy enthusiast; each has various characteristics that highlight freshness, minerality and ample red fruit, while retaining its true sense of place and varietal.
Don’t miss this last chance to grab this iconic Tuscan at some of the best pricing in the country. In true IWM fashion, we are including the 2016 Fèlsina Chianti Classico Riserva along with some good company to come. You will want to load up if you have not already, as few wines deliver such value and longevity.
Featured Wines: 2016 Fèlsina Chianti Classico Riserva…and Beyond
*Note: these wines are pre-arrival, end of 2020
If you love Italian wine, you know that Fattoria di Fèlsina has long been one of the beloved names in Tuscan wine. It is here in the prized hamlet of Castelnuovo Berardenga, just 30 miles outside of Montalcino, that Giuseppe Mazzocolin, Giovanni Poggiali, and longtime winemaker Franco Bernabei produced one of the finest ranges of age-worthy and complex Chianti and Sangiovese bottlings. What makes this estate unique among many of the region’s producers is their dedication to terroir and use of indigenous grape varietals. While many of their neighbors blend Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in their Chianti, Fèlsina remains traditionalist to the core. Their Riserva Vigna Rancia is widely regarded as the finest Chianti alongside Fontodi’s Vigna del Sorbo and Castello di Ama’s Bellavista. However, like Fontodi’s Flaccianello, the flagship Fontalloro is one of those monovarietal Super Tuscans that drinks like a Brunello – burly and wild, whereas the Riserva Rancia is more ethereal and precise. The 2016 is an awesome display of structured and pure, lively Sangiovese fruit that makes us think back to vintages like 2010, a classic and powerful vintage that showed best with a little maturity.
However, if you love Fèlsina and Sangiovese, you know it does not end with Fontalloro. It is the more precise and ethereal Fèlsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia that is regarded as one of the pinnacle expressions of Sangiovese and Chianti Classico Riserva. We are including the critically acclaimed release from 2016, along with the benchmark expressions of 2010, 2013, and 2015 as these are some of finest interpretations of the noble Sangiovese – and they can age for decades. Lastly, for the more serious Italian collector, there is the rare and elusive Colonia Gran Selezione, this is Fèlsina’s Grand Cru selection. A mere handful of cases arrive in the US and Italian Wine Merchants is just one of a handful to make this wine available.
Additional Note(s) and Reviews:
“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
2016 FÈLSINA CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA BERARDEGNA
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Delizioso. Hard not to find a good Chianti Classico Riserva in 2016 – but this might just be the best value in Riserva! One sniff from the cork and you are sent to the rolling hills of the Classico zone. Succulent red cherries, tomato leaf, olives, a touch of lavender, sandalwood, spice, tobacco and baked earth. To IWM, this is what 2016 is all about: it is a complete wine and a near perfect expression of Sangiovese. High toned and bright with a texture that gains weight with time in the glass. While it is easy to gravitate to the Vigna Rancia and the flagship Fontalloro, we all need that perfect house Chianti and this might just be it! This is the prelude to Fontalloro. Do not miss it and remember to give this wine an hour or more of aeration as it opens and sings.”
94 Points, Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “Streamlined and elegant, this mid-weight red trots out notes of grilled herb and dark fruit nuances that segue to spice, tilled earth and savory tobacco, with great complexity. This 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva shows elegance and power, two contrasting characteristics that only work well together in the world's most achieved expressions. The most satisfying aspect of this Riserva is the crisp acidity on the close that keeps the palate refreshed and ready for the next sip.”
2016 FÈLSINA FONTALLORO IGT
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “WOW…I had the more ethereal and precise Rancia and was absolutely floored – easily one of finest expressions of Sangiovese from this benchmark vintage. But for Fèlsina, it did not end with iconic Chianti Classico Riserva. The Fontalloro picks up right where Rancia leaves off, adding more volume in density and immediacy. This is an explosive wine that has benefitted from its additional time in bottle. Expect ripe, succulent, red and black fruit highlighted by black cherries, nuances of red licorice, sandalwood, baked earth, crushed flowers, and herbs that echo on the back of the palate and linger for a long finish. The best favor I can do for someone is to emphatically recommend this wine. A whole lot deliciousness now and for years to come. In a word – MAGNIFICENT.”
98+ Points, Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2016 Fontalloro is the best vintage of this landmark wine that I have tasted thus far. This is a very elegant vintage, with more volume in the mouth and precise notes of tar, licorice, camphor ash, resin and Indian spice. In a race between the highly competitive 2015 and 2016 vintages, I give a slight advantage to this wine. The warmer 2015 vintage shows more richness and exuberant fruit. However, this wine from 2016 offers a more focused and chiseled delivery. I am hopeful that this wine will continue to evolve and sharpen as it ages in the bottle. This is a beautiful wine to put aside in your cellar for ten years or more.”
2016 FÈLSINA CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA VIGNA RANCIA
96 Points, Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia knocks it out of the park. Like the other new releases from Fèlsina, this pure expression of Sangiovese needs more time to evolve and improve with bottle age. But even at this young stage, you are made fully aware of the beautiful intensity and complexity of the quality fruit at its core. There is so much energy and tension here, further reinforced by the fresh acidity of the vintage. There are vibrant tones of wild cherry, raspberry and spice, followed up by white truffle and tilled earth.”
Should you have any questions on these exciting wines, or would like to take advantage of this offer while supplies last, we are asking that you email orders back to me at email@example.com, connect with your Portfolio Manager or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation.
All my best,