Riecine ,Vigna Gittori Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, DOCG, Tuscany, Italy, 2019
Riecine has always followed a pioneering path, defining a new style and approach in this classic region.
Founded by Englishman John Dunkley, and today run by the Frank family, the estate is committed to a natural approach in winemaking. Certified organic and following biodynamic processes, the land is gently nurtured with plants, flowers, and grasses encouraged to flourish. This is to promote vineyard diversity and the health of the land. Closely monitored pickers select only the best, ripest and cleanest bunches from the vines; everything else remains in the fields to return to the earth. With winemaking in the skilled hands of Alessandro Campatelli, low sulphur additions, natural yeasts and long fermentation are de rigeur, as wines are gently coaxed into the world. Adhering strictly to the belief in Sangiovese as the only variety that should be used, these incredible wines are honest examples of that overused phrase 'a true sense of place'.
Gran Selezione comes from the organically farmed single vineyard of Gittori. This special site is situated on a south-facing slope, situated at 500 metres above sea level, with vines planted in 1971. After renting the site for 20 years, Riecine were able to purchase it in 2019. Soils are predominantly limestone, but also "Galestro", the local rocky, schist clay soils, which imparts its distinctive character on the wine.
Grapes are harvested by hand with two selections, one in the field, the second at the sorting table immediately the grapes reach the winery. Each plot within the single vineyard is vinified separately in open-top concrete tanks, macerated for around 25 days and pressed. The classification stipulates a minimum of 30 months ageing, a combination of 24 months in old French tonneaux, with at least a further 6 months of bottle refinement before release.
Type: French Tonneaux
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: None
Riecine’s exceptional first ever Gran Selezione. A wine with great finesse yet restrained power, on the nose there are notes of damask rose, plump red berries and woody herbs, whilst the palate is elegant, with perfectly structured silky tannins providing the framework, whilst juicy acidity, vivid raspberry and mellow spice bring lift, light and complexity to the finish. All the hall-marks of the beautiful Riecine style, perfectly reflected in this highest of Chianti Classico classifications.
For a superlative pairing drink with Bistecca Alla Fiorentina, or other dry-aged high quality steak, or with a rich vegetable or meat ragu and pasta. Pizza with an intense tomato sauce is also divine.
Wines and Spirits Top Chianti Classicos 95 Points
This northern Gaiole estate was founded in 1976 by Englishman John Dunkley and his wife, Palmina Abbagnano. Lana Frank purchased the property in 2011, overseeing an upgrade of the original cellar and bringing on Alessandro Cam-patelli as winemaker. Vigna Gittori is the estate’s first Gran Selezione, prompted by the strength of the 2019 growing season. Frank and Campa-telli also appreciated recent changes to the cat-egory that raised the minimum for sangiovese to 90 percent, eliminated international varieties and allowed producers to list their village name on the front label. This wine is pure sangiovese from the 5.6-acre Gittori vineyard planted in 1971 at eleva-tions reaching up to 1,640 feet. The wine shows deeply concentrated flavors of dark cherry, rasp-berry and pomegranate that are focused and pre-cise, underlined by cool mineral tones and lifted by scents of lavender and thyme. Already layered and complex, this has the freshness to age well for a decade. 95 Points, SJ,
James Suckling 96 Points
Blackberry, orange-peel and Spanish cedar aromas. Exotic fruit, too. Full bodied with seamless tannins and a very, very long finish. A benchmark Gran Selezione. Structured, yet fine at the same time. Drink or hold. 96 Points, JS, June 2022.
Decanter 97 Points
Riecine’s first ever Gran Selezione is a true beauty. It comes from the Gittori vineyard, a south-facing plot which sits above 500 metres, planted in 1971 - after renting it for 20 years, the estate was finally able to purchase it in 2019. The nose shows pure, precise fragrances of rose, wildflower, raspberry and spice. Fruit is at the fore, with integrated oak in the background – simply there to support. Youthfully plump and joyful at the moment, the succulent acidity and silky tannins bring vibrancy and alluring texture respectively. It has the depth and complexity worthy of Gran Selezione and is a glorious demonstration that the category isn’t solely reserved for muscle-bound powerhouses. 97 Points, MM, March 2022.
6 x 75cl
Award: Wine & Spirits Magazine 92 Points