My readers know there is a fondness in my heart for Castellina in Chianti. The town charms me, I have friends there, and the landscape is a virtual quilt of post cards. The cherry on that list is the wine. Every time I come across a new Chianti Classico that I may not be familiar with or a new wine created by an established producer and I end up enjoying it, inevitably the label says Castellina in Chianti. Today is no exception.
In my article “A Call for Consistency” I urged estates that produce a Gran Selezione to rely heavily, if not entirely on Sangiovese for their wines. I am seeing that trend increase and with excellent results.
The Fonte Alla Selva estate sits in Castellina in Chianti in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. The 40 hectare estate enjoys lovely exposure and a complex mix of soils, but was recently left to disrepair until Castello Banfi acquired the vineyard and began revitalizing it in 2011. Their efforts have quickly paid dividends and their soon to be released Gran Selezione may be the best wine yet from this re-born estate.
The 2013 Fonte Alla Selva Gran Selezione is 100% Sangiovese. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and then racked to French oak casks for up to 14 months before bottle aging of at least a further 6 months.
Deep ruby in the glass, the wine displays some darker, garnet reflections. Classic aromas of Tuscan herbs, cypress, crushed wild cherry and flowers are noted. On the palate, the wine is juicy, fresh and vibrant with understated elegance. Flavors of juicy, spicy cherry are prominent but the soils I spoke of earlier lend a distinct powdery, minerality to the backbone of the wine. Notes of new leather and vanilla add additional complexity and the finish is long and mouth watering. Once released, retail should be around $30. 93 points. Disclosure: This bottle was an importer provided sample.
Fonte Alla Selva also produces a Chianti Classico which you can find here: Wine Searcher