~ The Courtyard at Felsina with the Barrel Cellar visible in twilight ~

The Felsina Estate is impeccable.  Whether it’s the manicured vineyards, the immaculate cellar or the pristine courtyard that gives character to this venerable estate, quality is practiced unfailingly at every level.

These characteristics present themselves admirably in the estate’s wines.  Simply put:  Chianti Classico does not get any better than Felsina.  Of course you can find wines of similar quality,  but the consistency and excellence of the wines from this estate in Castelnuovo Berardenga would be hard to eclipse.


Organically farmed, Felsina’s wines are produced from estate grown grapes from some of the zone’s oldest vineyards. The Chianti Classico is produced from vines that average 30 years of age and the subject of today’s article, the Rancia Riserva, hails from a single vineyard whose vines average 50 years of age. Franco Bernabei, with wineries like Sartori, Monte Antico and Fontodi among his resume, is the long tenured consulting winemaker.

The newest release of Rancia is impressive indeed.  The 2013 Felsina Chianti Classico Rancia Riserva is 100% Sangiovese and brings to light the excellence of the varietal from Chianti Classico.  Deep violet in color, the aromas of the wine are exuberant at this young age.  Crushed raspberry, bright cherry, focused anise and warmed clay rise from the glass with little coaxing from the drinker.  On the palate, the wine is equally impressive and largely scaled. Don’t be fooled by the forwardness of the nose; this young wine is brawny.

Full bodied flavors of crushed cherry align nicely with toasted spice, fresh fennel, new leather and eucalyptus.  Balanced with fresh acidity, you can feel the youth of the wine as the tannins clamp down on the finish. As I still have 2001 and 2004 Rancia in my cellar, I can confidently say that this will greatly benefit from slow aging. I have long experience with this wine and with Felsina in general. They are venerable, respected and reliable.  Buy their wines with zero trepidation.  Is this the best Rancia ever?  No. Not in the slightly uneven 2013 vintage.  But I can’t wait for the 2015 to be released.  92 points.  About $40.   Find this wine.

~ Sangiovese in purezza ~


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