~ The Entrance to Castello di Volpaia ~

Castello di Volpaia sits atop a hillside just north of Radda in Chianti.  It’s a dominating castle that anchors the remainder of this tiny walled village; a unique enclave that is more than simply a winery.  The winery and the surrounding buildings actually comprise the small village of Volpaia;  Population, about 50.

Volpaia’s origins date back to the year 1172, but it wasn’t until the mid 1970’s that the Mascheroni Stianti family, led by the husband and wife team of Carlo and Giovanella, decided to modernize the winery and begin commercial production on a scale never before implemented at Volpaia.  Today, the winery and the village support and farm over 900 acres of land, of which 120 are dedicated to vineyards, 40 that are devoted to olive groves and the balance to natural forest and the village structures.

~ Grande Botte aging wine in the cellars of Castello di Volpaia ~

Today we’re spotlighting one of the newest wines from Castello di Volpaia.  The 2013 Coltassala is a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Mammolo that is aged in French barrique for 18 months and then refined an additional 6 months in bottle before release.  Designated now as a Chianti Classico Riserva, this former Super Tuscan hails from the single vineyard of the same name and is one of Volpaia’s highest and oldest vineyards.  The 2013 is not yet available on the market.

Medium ruby in the glass, this medium bodied Sangiovese shows some of the rougher edges from the 2013 vintage.  The aromas from the glass are already centered on secondary characteristics.  The medium core of zippy cherry fruit is backed by green tobacco leaf, dried herbs, and a bit of barnyard.  The tobacco leaf is center stage on the palate with red fruits and fennel seed joining in.  On the finish, there is a touch of drying bitterness to the tannins.  With roasted pork, the wine was enjoyable, but it didn’t “wow” anyone.   Frankly, I much prefer the Black Label Riserva from Volpaia and I’ll be reviewing the 2013 version of that wine shortly.   88 points.   About $45-$60.   Disclosure:  This bottle was an importer provided sample.

~ Coltassala is designated a Chianti Classico Riserva and is almost entirely Sangiovese ~

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