2021 Fèlsina, Chianti Classico DOCG, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Tuscany, Italy.
The wonderfully dark floral, pretty ruby/garnet hued and richly textured 2021 Fèlsina Chianti Classico is already drinking fabulously well and shows of a heightened palate of blackberry, plum, strawberry and mulberry fruit, as well as snappy herb, licorice, cedar, sweet tobacco and a hint of leathery earth, in a seamless flow, but with a bright lift of acidity keeping things balanced. I adore this wine and this vintage especially stands out for my tastes, its medium bodied fleshiness and delicate savory tones make it lovely with food, as it should be with a Chianti. Fèlsina’s vines have almost exclusively with a southwestern exposure, that delivers full ripeness, they sprawl across hilly slopes at an altitude ranging from 320-420 meters above sea level that allows a night time chill even in the heat of Summer, making for balanced and expressive Sangiovese. Geologically, again as the winery adds, these vineyards have distinct and individual underpinnings with an array of soils, with the higher parts seeing predominantly quartz and calcareous alberese mixed with alluvial pebbles as well as strata-form sandstone and loams that add to the overall quality and complexity in Felsina’s lineup. This vintage, while not surprising given Fèlsina’s record of quality, does grab your attention for its value and purity of form in this price point, honestly you’d most likely be happy with this wine’s performance at twice the asking price, this is something I’ve said a few times before about this white label Fèlsina Chianti Classico, and no doubt will say again. Fèlsina’s lineup, with Rancia and Fontalloro being absolutely sublime, always makes me happy and when I just want Sangiovese, this Chianti Classico is without a doubt one that I never get tired of and has been a go to for over 20 years now.

The wines of Fèlsina have always moved me and I find them as compelling as Bordeaux and or Burgundy, the Castelnuovo Berardenga based estate in the southeastern most Chianti Classico zone has long been one of the great names in Tuscany, especially their iconic Fontalloro 100% Sangiovese Vino di Tavola. This Fèlsina Chianti Classico, 100% Sangiovese as well, was fermented and macerated in stainless steel tanks for almost two weeks with pneumatic (programmed) punchdowns and daily pump-overs. Once primary fermentation was complete the wine went into medium-size Slavonian oak barrels, and a small percentage into twice and thrice used oak barrels for 12 months of elevage, after which the final blend was chosen, or put together, and then bottled. As noted here many times, this wine comes from vineyards, as the winery notes, that are all located in the Castelnuovo Berardenga commune, in the southeastern part of the Chianti Classico appellation, as noted, to the southeast of Siena. The estate, in an area that was cherished during Roman times, was once the farm of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, back then Fèlsina was mostly known for its sense of peace and its olive groves, with, as the winery notes, just a few hectares dedicated to viticulture before the nineteenth century. The original wine cellar was small, but in the early 1900s had already begun bottling on site and Fèlsina’s slow and historic march toward greatness in Italian wine began, with the present generation of care takers here committed to holistic and sustainable farming and the Sangiovese grape, including preserving a selection old special clones of this classic Tuscan varietal. There’s a wealth of gems coming from the southern end of the Chianti Classico zone these days, from Radda to Castelnuovo, almost on the outskirts of Siena, with Montesecondo, Montevertine, Castello di Ama, Le Miccine, Mazzei and Fèlsina being my favorites, which I always highly recommend.
($28 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

By admin