Submitted by tana on Fri, 03/04/2011 - 18:24
About the Producer:
Felsina, an estate centered in a hamlet founded by the Ertuscans on the edge of what became the town of Castelnuovo Berardenga, was acquired in 1966 by Domenico Poggiali as a place in the country that supplied quantities of tasty, if rustic, Chianti. Poggiali, from Romagna, wasn’t aware of Felsina’s potential grandeur until 1982, when his son-in-law Giuseppe Mazzocolin, a professor of Greek and Latin from Treviso in the Veneto, decided to leave academia and try to improve the wines. Guiseppe hired France Bernabei, a young enologist also from the Veneto beginning to make his mark in Tuscany. Their first feat was Fontalloro, a pure Sangiovese matured in barriques, a wine of might and bearing that quickly rose to star status among the so-called Super-Tuscans. Guiseppe, intrigued by local traditions, decided that Felsina must also have a special reserve Chianti and in 1983 selected grapes from a farm on the property called Podere di Rancia. That, too, was a pure Sangiovese (despite rules requiring other grapes in the blend), though for the sake of authenticity the Venetian team employed a quaint local practice called Governo all’uso toscano. That consisted of gathering very ripe grapes after the normal harvest and drying them to ass to the fermented wine to make it richer and rounder. Rancia combines the integrity of a classic reserve Chianti with contemporary weight and style in a way that few other wines of Tuscany do. Felsina also produced Maestro Raro, a pure Cabernet Sauvignon that rival Fontalloro among Super-Tuscans, as well as an oak-fermented Chardonnay called I Sistri. With the acquisition of the adjacent Pagliarese estate, Felsina has gradually increased production from 77 hectares of vineyards to 300,000-350,000 bottles a year, dominated by a fine regular Chianti. A sister estate, Castello di Farnetella as Sinalunga, makes Chianti Colli Senesi, Sauvignon, a Pinto Noir (Nero di Nubi) and the excellent Poggio Granoni (Sangiovese with Cabernet and Syrah).
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