~ The lineage of the Mazzei family extends for centuries ~

The Mazzei family have roots that have chiseled their way into the Tuscan earth for over 6 centuries.  The center of that foundation resides at Castello Fonterutoli in Castellina in Chianti.  Not only a vineyard property, Castello Fonterutoli is an autonomous hamlet unto itself. The estate produces several iconic wines including the Ser Lapo Chianti Classico Riserva and the pioneering Siepi.   Although the estate covers more than 650 hectares, only 117 are devoted to special vineyards that are organized into five zones ranging between 220 and 550 meters above sea level.  The diverse combination of cultivars, woods, and various soil types combine to create a unique terroir.

~ Albarese soil at Castello Fonterutoli ~

Below the Castello lies a state of the art winery.  Buried at a depth of 15 meters,  the ideal temperature and humidity levels are naturally maintained by 5 water streams that flow through and over the naked rock walls of the cellar.  Passion runs high at Fonterutoli; whether it’s Filippo and the creation of wine or his wife Carla who creates various natural cosmetics infused with the estate’s lavender, attention to detail is paramount.

~ The Chianti Classico Pyramid ~

Today we’re discussing one of the estate’s finest wines.   The 2011 Castello Fonterutoli Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is a blend of 92% Sangiovese, 4% Colorino and 4% Malvasia Nera.  Sourced from vineyards that are approaching 25 years of age on average, the wine is vinified in stainless steel and then aged for 20 months in various size French barrique before 10+ months of bottle aging before release.

The 2011 is a deep ruby red with violet reflections in the bowl.  Reticent at first, it took quite some time for the aromas and flavors to blossom. We decanted the wine for almost an hour and I highly recommend you do the same.

Crushed cherry, sweet pipe tobacco, turned earth and spices mark the very aromatic nose of the wine.  On the palate, the wine is long and elegant with full bodied flavors of crushed wild berry, fennel, rainwater dampened turned earth and spicy pepper and vanilla undertones.  I love the profile of this wine and it paired very well with stuffed chicken breast.   Without food, this wine exhibited a certain degree of “chewiness” to the tannins and displayed the structure required for mid-term aging.   Approachable now with decanting, but I suspect it will be better in 2-3 years.  Great value given the cost of many other Gran Selezione.  93 points.  About $28. Find this wine.

~ A wonderful effort in 2011 from Filippo Mazzei ~

Salute amici e buon fine settimana!

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