~ Cellars at Rocca di Castagnoli ~

If you look at the Rocca di Castagnoli website, it seems as though it’s an agriturismo before it’s a winery.  Maybe that’s part of the problem. There seems to be a lack of focus here – a lack of passion which is manifesting itself in the wines.   
When the 2007 Chianti Classico were released, I had the fortune of tasting the Rocca di Castagnoli and it was delicious.  I bought several bottles back then and have been purchasing it since.  The 2009 was good,  but seemed to take a step or two backward from the 2007.   Then came the 2010 – and yet another step backward. 
Last night,  with some bread, olives and cheese before heading out to dinner,  I opened my last bottle of the 2010.  What is going on here?  Are they distracted by their hotel & lodging business?    Rocca di Castagnoli is an entire medieval village unto itself.  It sits in the heart of the historic Chianti Classico area, surrounded by forest, olives and meandering rows of cypress trees.  Totaling almost 850 hectares, with 100 under vine, the production is large, but not overly so as to be unweildy.  Yet something is amiss. 
The bottle last night was medium violet in color with brick like reflections.  It already looks older than it is. Aromas are pleasing enough, with berries, cedar and slight floral overtones.  In the mouth, the wine is lean.  It lacks fruit.  The profile is somewhat bitter with astringency to the tannins.  There’s no finesse here.  The medium bodied core of berry fruit is punctuated with spice and soft vanilla notes but overall this seems tired and dried out.   The cheese helped a little, but it didn’t elevate the wine as I would have hoped.  83 points, about $15.   Approach with caution.
The 2010 is a blend of 80% Sangiovese with equal parts Canaiolo and  Colorino comprising the last 20%.  The wine is aged in a combination of large cask and tonneaux and is barrel aged at least 12 months with an additional 6-12 months bottle aging before release. 

~ The inconsistent 2010 Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti Classico ~


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