Drink in the History of Chianti Classico from New York Vintners

Dear New York Vintners Friends,


Today, we are featuring one of our favorite Tuscan red wines, Chianti Classico Riserva.


To understand the pedigree of these wines, you need to understand a little bit of their background and history.  It is hard to distill three centuries of Chianti history into a short email, but in honor of such great wine, we’re going to try!


The first documentation of a wine region named Chianti dates all the way back to 1716. This region was quite large and by 1932, had to be re-drawn because of the big variations in quality and style of the wines that had been produced there.  The region was divided into seven sub-zones bason on the nearest “city”: Classico, Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini, Colline Pisane, Colli Senesi, Montalbano and Rufina.  


Chianti Classico encompassed most of what was the original zone, and has been recognized as the leading appellation in terms of quality. The introductions of the DOC in 1967, and DOCG in 1984 meant a set of; highly enforced rules that governed everything from what grapes could be blended to how long the wine must age prior to release. These standards were monumental in the transformation of generic fiasco Chianti (large squat bottle enclosed in a straw basket), into wines that are now seen as rivals to the great reds of Montalcino and Montepulciano.  


 Today, Chianti Classico must contain at minimum 80% Sangiovese, allowing for the blending of other international varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and even Syrah. It was only in 1995 that producers were permitted to make Chianti Classico with 100% Sangiovese grapes. Basic Chianti Classico can be released fairly immediately after bottling, however, producers have begun to select the best grapes for their Riserva bottling, which at minimum must age for 24 months after harvest before release into the market. These extra two years, which the wine; typically spends maturing in wood vats or French barrels, creates a tremendous amount of structure, color, and tannin. The end result are some of the most age-worthy, deep, and satisfying wines one will ever encounter, and as often is the case, some of the BEST VALUE premium wines in the world.


We are very pleased to offer the great 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva wines from two of Tuscany’s premier estates,  Felsina and Fontodi. Intensely coveted and collected in average vintages, Felsina and Fontodi have crafted what are perhaps their greatest Riservas ever from this classic vintage. The critics agree, giving some of the highest scores of the vintage, on par with such notables as Ornellaia, Sassicaia, and Tignanello ( at $100+ per bottle) just to name a few.


We are fortunate to be able to offer these wines in 1.5L (magnum) bottles. Perfect for cellaring, celebrating, or entertaining, 1.5L formats are the most desirable size bottles on the collectors market. 


Fattoria Felsina

Established in 1961, this estate is located in Castelnuovo Berardenga, which is the southeastern most part of the Chianti Classico subzone. With the help and experimentation of consulting enologist Franco Bernabei, Felsina has been one of the top producers in Tuscany for quite some time. Most of Felsina’s 75 hectares of vineyards lie within the Classico zone, with a few prized vineyards just outside in Colli Senesi. The estate’s flagship wine, Chianti Classico Riserva “Ranciaâ€? which comes from nearly 6 hectares, matures in small barrels for 18 months and another 6 months in bottle before release. “Fontalloro,â€? which some say is even better than the Rancia, is also composed of 100% Sangiovse grapes from vineyards in both the Classico and Colli Senesi subzones. Classified as IGT, Fontalloro matures in a similar fashion as the Riserva Rancia.

Felsina 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia 1.5l | $98 | 14 bottles available

AG, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 95 pts “I have tasted Felsina’s 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia on at least three separate occasions and have never been anything less than deeply impressed. This is a serious Chianti endowed with endless layers of sweet dark cherries, smoke, minerals, flowers and sweet toasted oak. With air the layers fill out, revealing an expansive, richly-textured wine of pure breed. At times the wine has been incredibly primary and brooding, while at other times it has shown the sheer power it holds in reserve. This is a great effort from Felsina. Simply put, it is a wine fit for kings and queens. Rancia also happens to be one of the finest values in wine today. Needless to say, it is highly recommended. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024.�

Order online, phone 212.812.3999, or reply to this email.

Felsina 2004 Fontalloro .750ml|$43 | 36 bottles available

Felsina 2004 Fontalloro 1.5l|$105 |6 bottles available

AG, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 94 pts “The 2004 Fontalloro (100% Sangiovese) comes across as fresher and brighter than the Rancia. Light on its feet, this graceful, delicate wine opens with sweet, perfumed aromatics that meld into raspberries, flowers, spices and a touch of sweet oak that lingers on the finish. It offers remarkable clarity and precision in a pure, focused style, with superb balance and finessed tannins. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2019.�

Order online, phone 212.812.3999, or reply to this email.

Felsina 2006 Castello de Farnetella Chianti Colli Senesi .750ml | $16 | 36 bottles available
Castello de Farnetella is owned and managed by Felsina.  Produced with Sangiovese grapes from the Siena subzone of Chianti, Farnetella bursts with ripe cherries and plums.


Order online, phone 212.812.3999, or reply to this email.




The Fontodi estate is located in Panzano, almost at the center of the Chianti Classico region. The current owners, the Manetti family produce from the 67 hectare estate straight Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva “Vigna del Sorbo”, the estate’s “Super-Tuscan”, Flaccianello della Pieve, and a Syrah and Pinot Nero bottled under the Case Via label. “Vigna del Sorboâ€? is a blend of 90% Sangiovese with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This single vineyard extends nearly 8 hectares in size and develops into a wine of beautiful fruit, structure, and Panzano terrior.


Fontodi 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo 1.5l |$129 |12 bottles available

AG, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 95 pts“The 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo is an explosive wine endowed with a layered, sumptuous expression of sweet dark fruit. Menthol, licorice and floral overtones develop in the glass, adding further complexity. This stunningly beautiful wine offers tremendous persistence yet it will require patience as its structural components are formidable. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024.�

Order online, phone 212.812.3999, or reply to this email

Also, check our website for upcoming events.
Questions? Just phone Derrick Mize at 212.812.3999 or reply to this email.


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