~ The sun drenched vineyards of Villa Cafaggio ~

Villa Cafaggio is a postcard.  It evokes the sort of images that people use as screensavers.  It brings to life the vistas that people travel to Tuscany expecting to see.  Situated in Panzano,  the heart of Chianti Classico,  Villa Cafaggio is one of the most picturesque estates I’ve visited.   Covering 68 hectares, 40 of which are under vine, the estate is not large by any definition.  The property is planted to 85% Sangiovese and 15% Cabernet and Cafaggio’s wines are crafted exclusively from estate fruit.  Recently we tasted Villa Cafaggio’s newest wine. Again.  Sort of.

~ Another of Panzano’s Treasures ~

From 1981 to 1995 Villa Cafaggio produced a wine called Basilica Solatio that was Cru intended to be the “new emblem” of Chianti Classico.  Various business decisions halted production after the 1995 but with the exceptional 2010 vintage, the wine was reborn.  

The 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva Basilica Solatio is sourced from the tiny 2.2 hectare Solatio vineyard and is 100% Sangiovese.  Vinified in stainless steel and then matured in medium sized oak casks for 24 months, the wine is then bottle aged for 6 months prior to release.  Now almost 25 years old, the vines are giving exceptional fruit and this Riserva is distinctive and powerful and will be a wine to watch.  I see it taking it’s place alongside some of the regions most renowned Riservas such as Felsina’s Rancia Riserva and Fontodi’s Vigna del Sorbo.  

~ The Strada Bianca leads through Castellina to Panzano ~

In the glass, this Sangiovese is a lovely violet color.  Decanting is needed, as the wine adds significant weight to the fruit as it airs.  Aromas are classic and absolutely delightful.  Crushed cherries, flowers, tobacco, Tuscan air, earth and pine are all prevalent. It’s textbook, high toned, ripe Sangiovese.  On the palate, the wine is refreshing and medium to full bodied with elegance and grace over brawn, but not at the expense of round, ripe fruit.  Wild berries meld with spice, pepper, fennel seed, and minerals and the tannins are so well integrated that this drinks very well now.  Will age effortlessly for 5-10 years if you’d like to develop additional secondary flavors and more complex aromas.  It’s not the least expensive wine, but I believe it delivers.  95 points.  $35-$40. 

~ The newly released Cafaggio Basilica Solatio is 100% Sangiovese ~ 

 Buon fine settimana!

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