~ The Mazzei family library chronicles centuries of ancestral lineage ~

The Old World is the Old World for a reason.   

The Mazzei family has been making wine for generations in Tuscany.  As the yarn unfolds, it was Ser Lapo Mazzei who recorded the first ever use of the word “Chianti” in written form. The label of the 2009 Ser Lapo relates the story:

On this 16th day of December 1398,  3 floria, 26 soldi and 8 denari shall be given to Piero di Tino di Riccio for 6 barrels of Chianti wine, the aforementioned we pay by written letter of Ser Lapo Mazzei.”  It is in his honor that this Chianti Classico Riserva is named.

This wasn’t always the case, however.  In 1995, Fonterutoli ceased production of Ser Lapo in favor of creating a new “Super Chianti Classico” simply called Castello di Fonterutoli.   However, sometime around 2008, the Mazzei’s purchased the “Il Caggio” estate adjacent to their property and began harvesting Sangiovese in order to reinvent the Ser Lapo wine.  That brings us to today, and this outstanding Chianti Classico Riserva. 
 

~ Cantina Mazzei at Fonterutoli ~

The 2009 Ser Lapo Chianti Classico Riserva hails from vineyards in Castellina in Chianti.  A blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot, the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and then refined in french barrique for 12 months, 50% of which are new.  

The wine displays a deep garnet color with vibrant ruby highlights that yield penetrating aromas of crushed wild berry, sweet pipe tobacco, fresh herbs and anise seed. I love how this smells.   On the palate,  the marriage of Sangiovese and Merlot is impressive. Deftly balanced, the flavors of espresso, spice, crushed berry and plums are silky, elegant, juicy and concentrated.  There is nothing not to like here.  Like it’s 2008 sibling, this is an outstanding wine and an even better value.  92 points.  About $20. 

~ Ser Lapo 2009 & a little reading material before dinner ~ 

The Old World is the Old World for a reason.  Romantically so.

Cin Cin!
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