~ The 1997 Percarlo sitting in Decanter ~
San Giusto a Rentennano has roots as far back as the ancient Etruscans.  Located in Gaiole in Chianti,  the estate was acquired in 1957 via inheritance by Enrico Martini di Cigala. Since that time, the Cigala family has crafted wonderful wines and since 1992, the estate has been run by Enrico’s nine children.  Truly a family endeavor.
The 1997 Percarlo is a pure, focused Sangiovese.  Decanted 60 minutes before dinner, the wine is still a dark blackish red,  although toward the outlying rim one can discern brick and copper like colors.  The aroma of the wine is an absolute symphony.  A symphony in the orchestral sense, in that it was very difficult to identify individual components, but the whole presence together creates a masterful expression of Sangiovese.  Primarily there is fruit, earth and flowers – but there’s more at work here and it has to be experienced to be understood. 

~ Sangiovese on the San Giusto Estate; Gaiole in Chianti ~

On the palate, the wine is not as compelling as the nose.  There’s a solid core of bright cherry fruit, but at 16 years of age, it seems to be fading a bit. Perhaps a little drying caused by the tannins, which still have some time left to resolve.  There’s crumbled dry flower petals and leather flavors that add a stately backdrop, but I expected more richness to the fruit and a fuller body.  If you have a cache of this in your cellar, I’d definitely recommend trying one now.  This was a gift, and my only bottle.  Still, in light of the gargantuan Parker review (97 points) the price has soared and I can’t recommend purchasing this at the current retail of almost $175 per bottle.  90 points, about $45 upon release.

~ Percarlo in the glass. Note the brick/orange color toward the rim ~

E vero!

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