Il Borghetto – World Class Winery on the Rise!

The Veritcal for my tasting

Il Borghetto Winery is among my favorite new wineries in Chianti Classico, producing a selection of superbly crafted wines with a delicate, iron fist in a velvet glove transparent Burgundian style. The winery is small, focusing mostly on handcrafted Sangiovese from organic and biodynamic grapes. The winery was founded just 20 years ago by Cavallini Family and is located near the small village of Montefiridolfi, in San Casciano VP, a short 20-minute jaunt south of Florence.

The estate produces approximately 10,000 bottles per year focusing on four reds that are all 100% Sangiovese: Clante, Bilaccio, Monte de Sassi and Montigiano. They also produce two red blends: Collina 21, crafted from mostly Sangiovese with the balance Merlot & Cab Sauvignon, and Rosie, a blend of Merlot & Cab Sauvignon. They also craft a lovely passito, Paz 2011, which is pure Sangiovese and only produced in special vintages. The first edition was a mere 600-375 ml. bottles.

The winemaking is executed by Tim Manning, a first-class winemaker from the UK. He began learning his craft in New Zealand where he focused on Pinot Noir. His approach is now reflected in these Sangiovese-based wines. Wild yeast, whole clusters and hand plunging (as opposed to pump-overs) are among his preferred techniques. The wines are aged in a combination of burgundy barrels from coopers intended to match the specific plots the grapes are sourced from, and cement. No detail is overlooked, this is world class winemaking.

This is a winery to watch as they continue to gain more recognition with their world class winemaking. The following broken-vertical reflects a marked evolution in the winery’s direction, initially focusing on the same wine, which as you can see from the labels transformed from Chianti Classico to Chianti Classico Riserva to Toscana IGP in just three consecutive vintages. My understanding is that they pulled away from declaring the wine as Chianti Classico in the 2007 vintage because they prefer burgundy bottles, which I am told are not in accordance with Consorzio regulations. Thus, it is now an IGP bottling. The 2013 comes from a different vineyard plot than the Bilaccio.

2013 Il Borghetto, Toscana IGP, Monte de Sassi (RT 94) 100% Sangiovese, aged 20 months in barrel, 5,000 bottles produced. With its classic, pale ruby/garnet hue it reveals notes of red cherry, white flowers, hints of new saddle leather and a streak of minerality. The proud mouthfeel is seductive and sappy, revealing a wonderful balance of fruit, acid and super ripe tannin. An exceptional showing of world class Sangiovese, the direction of this winery is moving increasingly toward Burgundy. Very impressive! Drink now-2033+

2007 Il Borghetto, Toscana IGP, Bilaccio (RT 93) With the same purity and elevage as the 2013 Monte de Sassi, the 2007 reveals a darker, riper and deeper expression of the grape. The warm vintage characteristics are evident, and the bouquet is a bit more subdued than the other vintages showing black cherry, menthol, black tea and hints of sous bois. While the fruit is ripe and rich, the mouthfeel remains restrained with a surprising degree of elegance and finesse. Delicious stuff! Drink now-2027+

2006 Il Borghetto, Chianti Classico Riserva, Bilaccio (RT 94) .100% Sangiovese, aged 18 months in barrel, 7,000 bottles produced. From the highly structured 2006 vintage, this shows an expected tautness and hardened frame, as a hint of barrel still shows. Bright red cherry, strawberry and bilberry lead to a luscious, weightless mouthfeel. Here the house style shows in spades as sweet, succulent ripe tannins coat the palate. This has many years of excellent drinking ahead and will outlive the 2007. Drink now-2032+

2005 Il Borghetto, Chianti Classico, Bilaccio (RT 94+) Another pure Sangiovese bottling, aged 16 months in barrel, 4300 bottles produced. Revealing the most evolved character of the tasting, while the hue is like the 2006 and 2007, it shows a much deeper, ripe bouquet of black cherry, Tuscan spice, porcini and forest floor. The house style is again evident with its transparent fruit, lovely acidity and sweet, ripe tannin. This wine outperformed expectations and by all accounts was on fire for this tasting, especially considering a more difficult vintage. Drink now-2025+