Tenuta di Arceno is an ancient Tuscan estate with a diverse portfolio of the highest quality wines across two classification levels – three wines centered on the native Sangiovese grape in the Chianti Classico DOCG collection and three wines celebrating the estate’s international varieties under the Toscana IGT designation. The estate is situated at the southernmost edge of Chianti Classico in the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga.
The estate is 2,500 acres of which 220 acres are planted to vines – the remaining land is preserved for native vegetation including 125 acres of olive orchards. Separated into 63 distinct vineyard blocks, the vineyards are planted to 50% Sangiovese and 50% international varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ripe, bold and soft, the Tenuta di Arceno 2017 Il Fauno di Arcanum is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. This wine hits an especially pretty balance that underlines the care given to preserving the best qualities of the fruit. It pours from the bottle with a darkly concentrated appearance and displays blackberry, plum, spice, tar and leather. There is softness here for sure, yet the wine's bold structure is still intact.
Cesari was founded in 1936 by Gerardo Cesari. As one of the first Italian wines to be exported to all five continents, the Cesari name quickly became synonymous with Amarone. Their estate holdings include more than 100 acres of hillside vineyards located in premier sites in the Valpolicella appellation, including three single vineyards, primarily in the historic Classico area.
Amarone della Valpolicella is made with local grapes Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella. In order to successfully complete the critical phase of "appassimento" (drying process), the fruit must be fully ripe and in perfect condition, therefore the fruit selection in the vineyard is very accurate. Once picked, the grapes are laid out carefully in single layers to allow air to circulate around the bunches, in either wooden or plastic trays or on bamboo cane mats and placed in special drying rooms called fruttai. The grapes remain in the drying rooms for three to four months. This leads to a reduction in the level of acidity, loss of water, and flavor concentration.
Wines are then crushed and vinified in multi-functional vats which allow the producer to control temperatures. Amarone then undergoes a period of natural aging in either Slavonian oak barrels, or in French barriques.
Cesari’s flagship wine is marked by cherry and prune aromas. Vanilla follows in this full, warm, harmonious red. A long and persistent finish is defined by bold tannins that elegantly coat the palate. Produced from dried grapes cultivated in the historic Classico area of the appellation, Cesari Amarone is extensively aged in a combination of French and Slavonian oak barrels for a total of three years following fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
San Felice is steeped in local lore and history. Named after a local saint from the 18th century, the property was bought by the Grisaldi Del Taja family – the founding members of the Chianti Classico consortium. The property includes 445 acres of vineyards and a 44-acre parcel dedicated to experimental viticulture and genetic improvement of Sangiovese.
The San Felice vineyards are situated amongst the gently rolling hills of the Castelnuovo Berardenga area of Chianti Classico. The bulk of the Chianti region stretches from Florence down past Siena. However, it’s important to distinguish between the Chianti DOCG and the Chianti Classico DOCG; the latter, home to higher quality wines and a longer pedigree, is smaller, confined to a set of hills between those two cities. The larger Chianti zone is subdivided into seven other zones.
It is a medium-bodied Chianti Classico with a distinguished personality and notable for its
elegance. Luminous ruby red in color with scents of cherry, raspberry, and sweet violets. Dry on the palate, showing subtle tannins and a fresh, crisp acidity.
Aglianico is the best known 'big red' grape in southern Italy, and there are two places
where it grows particularly well, Taurasi in Campania and Monte Vulture in Basilicata. The areas are less than two hours from each other, both are volcanic in geology, and both produce magnificent red wines - amongst the most age-worthy in Italy.
Grifalco is an excellent producer of Aglianico del Vulture owned by the Piccin family, who were originally wine producers in Tuscany but decided that southern Italy, Basilicata in particular, was more promising. One of the challenges in making Aglianico del Vulture is making sure that these big reds don't become bitter, and Fabrizio Piccin has done an excellent job of taming the tannins without making the wines glossy.
Blackberry, black cherry, licorice, and wild herbs. Well-balanced, with firm, sweet tannins and juicy acidity. Drinks well alongside anything from the grill.