2016 Felsina Berardenga, Chardonnay di Toscana IGT, I Sistri (RT91) Felsina has grown Chardonnay all the way back to 1987, and this wine continues to show great class with a Tuscan twist. Revealing a medium golden straw hue, the bouquet reveals notes of ripe lemon, apricot, hints of gravel and a cap of yellow apple. The mouthfeel shows a generous, full figure with nicely ripened fruit, soft acidity and a clean finish. Excellent winemaking shows off the French clones as well the small barrel oak aging in a convincing way, this should drink well for the next 6-8 years, but likely won’t make for old bones. Drink now-2024+

2011 Felsina, Pinot Nero di Toscana IGT, Nero di Nubi (RT91) Yes, 2011 is the current vintage. This is a newer wine from Felsina that receives long aging prior to release, but they’re rising to the challenge cool climate Pinot Nero (aka Pinot Noir) presents in the hot microclimate of Chianti Classico. Tiny production, with a mere 3,000 bottles produced. This wine shows its potential nicely, but this is NOT Burgundy and should not be compared as it is a unique expression of the grape. Revealing a medium ruby hue, notes of ripe strawberry, dried herbs, wild scrub cherry and a hint of Tuscan underbrush rise from the glass. The palate is mid weight, with rich ripe fruit, decent acidity and finishes with sweet, ripe tannin. Drink now-2026+

2016 Castello di Farnetella, Toscana IGT, Lucilla (RT88) An alluring blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, it is aged for 8-10 months in botti followed by 4-6 months in bottle prior to release. The medium ruby red hue gives way to a terroir-driven bouquet of red pit fruit, black cherry, hints of forest floor and hints of red current. The palate is impressively rich for the price point with a hint of sour cherry on the core, this shows bright acidity and soft tannins. Drink now-2024

2016 Castello di Farnetella, Chianti Colli Senesi (RT89) Here the winemakers at Fèlsina move toward their fascination with the Sangiovese grape blending 92% Sangiovese with 8% Merlot to add some richness to the blend. Aged for 8-12 months in various sized botti and then aged 4 months in bottle. Showing a slightly lighter hue than the Lucilla, the red fruit aspects shine through with notes of Morello cherry, balsam, white flowers and hints of sage. The palate also shows a brighter, more vibrant character with fresher fruit, acidity and a touch more tannin. The is an excellent value in the “affordable” price rage. Drink 2020-2026+

2016 Fèlsina Berardenga, Chianti Classico (RT90) First released all the way back in the 1967 vintage, this benchmark wine represents a stellar value for the Sangiovese aficionado. Crafted with 100% Castelnuovo Berardenga grown Sangiovese, which is home to extraordinary Sangiovese vineyards, this wine reveals superb attention to detail, even for Fèlsina’s base Chianti Classico. Aged in medium sized Slavonian barrels with a smattering of used oak casks, then aged in bottle for 3+ months prior to release. With a darker ruby hue, the balance on the bouquet is attractive, showing a dark, full richness with notes of red berries, terroir-driven soil elements, dried flowers and hints of espresso. With time in the glass a decided mineral-driven aspect emerges. The mouthfeel is lifted and bright, while it maintains beautiful balance and tension leading to a clean, savory finish. Seriously delicious for an under $20 wine and excellent for mid-term cellaring. Drink 2020-2030+

2015 Fèlsina Berardenga, Chianti Classico Riserva (RT92) Like its brethren Chianti Classico, this was also first released in 1967. Crafted from 100% Sangiovese and also grown in Castelnuovo Berardenga, here the playing level is noticeably higher than the CC as the selection of fruit is better, and the aging in cask longer (12-16 months) with some 2nd and 3rd passage barriques being used. While the hue is similar to the CC, it wafts up a far more serious bouquet as the fabulous 2015 growing season shines through. Notes of mentholated red and black cherry, red currant, mocha and soaring balsam lead to a beautiful palate fraught with tension and intrigue as it toys with your mouth. The acidity and tannin show a decided beautiful character. Another excellent vintage for the CCR, this is a lovely wine at an incredibly affordable price! Not to be missed. Drink 2020-2035+

2015 Fèlsina Berardenga, Chianti Classico Riserva, Rancia (RT96) A drop dead gorgeous vintage for this utterly beautiful expression of Sangiovese! First bottled in 1983, this single cru bottling is sourced from the Poggio a Rancia area, is 100% Sangiovese and is sourced from one of the truly profound vineyards in all of Chianti Classico. Despite being aged exclusively in new French oak barrels for 18-20 months, not the slightest amount of oak is present. Over the past two decades this wine has been on fire and this vintage it lives up to expectations from this excellent growing season. With its captivating translucent ruby garnet hue, subtle notes of ripe red cherry, sandalwood, plum, blackberry and accents of dried white flower and Tuscan underbrush emerge. With time its expected spiciness emerges. The palate is sensationally finessed with every little detail in perfect orchestration. A masterpiece of winemaking, the 2015 Rancia is a thing of utter beauty. This is one of the stand out wines for the price point from the region. Drink 2025-2040+ but be aware this may shut down for a few years.

2015 Fèlsina Berardenga, Toscana IGT, Fontalloro (RT94+) Like Rancia, this wine was also introduced to the world in 1983. While it too is 100% Sangiovese, the source vineyards straddle the Chianti Classico/Chianti Colli Senesi border, thus its IGT classification. It is aged in a combination of new and first passage French oak barrels for 18-22 months, thus it shows a slightly less polished character than its brethren Rancia. Showing a typical Felsina ruby hue, the bouquet reveals ripe notes of black cherry, red currant, thyme, leather and hints of spice. The mouthfeel is delicious and round punctuated with uplifting acidity and ripe, round tannin. This drinks very well now but needs some oxygen to open-up, i.e. – decant it! A truly fine vintage for this wine, although it doesn’t quite rise to the level of the 2016 Rancia. As a pop n’ pour I would suggest giving this a few more years to round out and come together, cellar time that will pay off in a big way! Drink 2022-2040+

2016 Felsina Berardenga, Cabernet Sauvignon di Toscana IGT, Maestro Raro (RT94) Tuscan Cabernet has always had a strong following, yet remains controversial as some say “why grow international varieties when indigenous ones excel”? My response, because it reveals a highly unique character built on a foundation of minerality in the soils. I’m a fan of Italian Cabernet! This bottling is aged for 18-20 months in new French oak followed by 8-10 months in bottle prior to release. Showing the deep dense hue normally associated with Cabernet Sauvignon, it needs some time in the glass for unfurl is inner beauty. Once it’s arrived it reveals notes of black currant, black cherry, violet, coffee and classic Tuscan minerality. The palate is seamless, pure and terroir laden with beautiful balance, finesse and a large tannic heft that will need time to soften and round out. Drink 2024-2036+

2007 Felsina, Vin Santo del Chianti Classico (RT95) Felsina has long produced one of the finest Vin Santo’s in Italy, a blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia and Sangiovese dried until Jan/Feb following harvest, destemmed and pressed, then aged in small 100-liter barrels for seven years. While some producers sell their Vin Santo at very high prices due to the costs associated with producing it, Felsina practically gives theirs away, making it one of the great bargains in the Italian dessert wine market. Showing a youthful copper hue, the bouquet exudes a cornucopia of Fall scents and tropical fruits as notes of dried peach and apricot, orange zest, hazelnut and toasted almond shine through. The palate is exceptionally well balanced with mouthcoating fruit, beautiful acidity, and a long enduring finish. This is classic Vin Santo! Drink now-2037+