Why We Love Sangiovese- Felsina's Blue Chips

On the heels of the wonderful 2020 Felsina Chianti Riserva (still at $39.99), we’ve just received allocations of their two blue chip cuvees.

2019 Fattoria Fèlsina Chianti Classico Riserva ‘ Rancia’


2018 Fattoria Fèlsina ‘Fontalloro’ IGT Toscana Rosso

both with shipping included on 6 bottles,
mixed or matched

Fattoria Felsina’s Rancia vineyard is the most prized of the fourteen different individual ‘farms’ the Mazzocolin family own. Planted entirely to Sangiovese from the early nineteen eighties, this long sweeping hill with its abandoned farmhouse at the top sits at 400 meters, right on the border of the Castelnuovo Berardenga zone at the far southeastern edge of Chianti Classico and the Chianti Colli Senesi appellations. The lower sweep of the hill is largely on Chianti’s Gallestro marly clay soils and the upper part is on the Castelnuovo area’s unique Albarese crushed granite sand and gravel. The former endows the Felsina’s Cru Rancia with its formidable structure- as powerful and age-worthy as any wine produced in Chianti, while the latter endows the wine with its legendary dark color, gorgeous floral aromatics and svelte, silky texture. 2019 has already been touted as one of the best harvests the region has seen in many years and, at Felsina, the earlier releases of Chianti Classico have only validated that assertion. The Rancia is one of the bluest of blue chips in Chianti and the 2019 is a very exciting, if still reticent young Rancia. Dark, truffled and redolent of freshly shoveled black loam, the fruit reminds me of chocolate-covered blueberry with hints of plum, black cherry and blackberry bramble adding complexity to what is always a very plush, silky and long, long palate. You can drink it now for its lovely pure Sangovese fruit or wait, well, wait 20 years or more like we did for the 1995 vintage that we enjoyed not too long ago. This will be a very special Rancia.
Also just-arrived, is the 2018 Fontalloro, Felsina’s barrique-aged Super Tuscan-styled 100% Sangiovese. Fontalloro, once solely fashioned from a single-vineyard located across the road from Felsina’s fabled cantina in the Chianti Colli Senesi appellation, is now more a wine based on style than one single terroir. It’s a sleeker, rounder, more, for lack of a better term ‘Bordelaise’ version of Chianti with an earthy complexity and minerality to go with its gorgeous fruit and lovely, lovely goes-on-forever black silk finish. It’s a true Super Tuscan!
Felsina fans are often divided over which cuvee they like the best but, no matter which you choose, you’ll be getting one of Tuscany’s true benchmark wines.

Last Chance!
Wine Spectator’s #22 Wine of the Year has finally arrived.

2020 Fattoria Felsina Chianti Classico ‘Berardenga Riserva’
Black Label

Still One Of The Best Deals In Top-Flight Chianti $39.99
with shipping included on 6 mix & matched

Back when I started at PRIMA, some 30 years ago, the so-called new wave of quality wines from Chianti Classico could be summed up in ‘Three F’s,’ Felsina, Fontodi and Fonterutoli.’ Here were three traditional properties that broke from the pack by challenging the status quo and making enormous individual qualitative commitments that singularly helped give wings to the previously hidebound Chianti Classico appellation and guide the Gallo Nero through the transition from the ubiquitous straw fiasco to worldwide respect. Now, over a quarter century later, the quality bar is much, much, much higher than it used to be, and Fattoria Felsina is still leading the way. Felsina, from its beautiful home in Castelnuovo Berardenga, the southeastern most outpost of the Chianti Classico appellation, has blazed one new trail after another, pioneering organic agriculture in the region and developing the market for single-vineyard offerings too. Under the inspired guidance of Giuseppe Mazzocolin, this Sangiovese-only property has maintained a sterling reputation for outstanding terroir-driven wines that are still the envy of all, not only for quality but also value. The best way to experience the wonderful wines of Felsina is through their lovely Chianti Classico and the outstanding Berardenga Riserva, the much-ballyhooed 2020 of which has just arrived. Sourced from both the sandy gravelly Albarese and the clay-y Galestro soils that comprise this estate of 14 separate farmhouses and vineyards, a Felsina wine is always dark, fragrant, savory and delicious. 2020 was a warm, generous harvest in Tuscany and the Riserva certainly has more volume and immediate appeal that we’ve typically tried here. Aged for over a year in a combination of Slavonian oak casks and smaller used French oak barriques, it’s some pretty flamboyant Sangiovese. Endowed with an extra measure of color and, more importantly, the classic violet flower, iron-y mineral and dark earth notes typical of the region, it wowed us in a recent tasting. Aromatic and really fresh in spite of its obvious plushness and weight, it’s a full-throttle Chianti packed with Sangiovese’s particular personality. Ready to go now, it’s remarkably deep, balanced and will be perfect alongside all kinds of dishes whether it be a few slices of fresh Pecorino Toscana or a classic Florentine bistecca. It’s a super serious, food-friendly Chianti that will also reward many years of cellaring too. Very highly recommended.

Wine Spectator: #22 Wine of the Year A solidly built red introduced by aromas of mint, lavender and wild rosemary. Shows cherry, raspberry, earth, iron, sanguine and tobacco flavors allied to an almost viscous texture as this cruises to the long finish. Impressive now, yet will be better in three to five years. Best from 2026 through 2045. 94 points
James Suckling: A juicy and pretty wine with berries, chocolate, and bark. Subtle. Medium-bodied with fine tannins that are slightly chewy and austere now but will soften nicely with age. 94 points
Wine Advocate: In a bottle with a black label, the Fèlsina 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva Berardenga shows an open-knit quality with soft fruit flavors of dark cherry and baked plum. Those fruit flavors are followed by pretty mineral notes and light spice. That openness and those sweet cherry flavors are characteristic of the warm 2020 growing season. The wine finishes with bright acidity that is typical of Sangiovese. 93 poi