2012 Melini Vigneti La Selvanella Riserva Chianti Classico
Fattorie Melini is the top range of Tuscan wines from Melini, Chianti’s historic estate since 1705. The Fattorie line uses only 100% estate-grown grapes from Chianti Classico’s most renowned vineyards, creating Italy’s benchmark wines, like the revolutionary “La Selvanella”. The estate holdings are divided into individual fattorie that represent an exclusive patrimony of choice vineyards (136ha) in Radda, Castellina and Gaggiano. Here, the noble Sangiovese Grosso clone is planted on sunny, hillside vineyards situated at up to 1,800 feet where a moderate, continental climate along with galestro and albarese soils create perfect growing conditions where the fickle Sangiovese achieves maximum ripeness and aromatic complexity. Piedmont-born Marco Galeazzo runs the winemaking, a role inherited from longtime, esteemed oenologist Nunzio Capurso. The winery, located in Gaggiano di Poggibonsi, sits carved out of a steep 1,800 foot hillside; benefitting from this design, multi-stage fermenters accomplish the progressive phases of vinification by gravity rather than forced pumping. Old Limousin casks rather than the more common Slavonian are used for aging each of the Chiantis. Melini also owns a winery at the foot of the medieval village of San Gimignano, used for the vinification of Tuscany’s most celebrated white wine and the only DOCG white, Vernaccia di San Gimignano which is also grown on their estate vineyards.
This is really an atypical Italian wine. we love Italian wines, but they’re usually tannic. The Vigneti Las Salvanella is a truly soft and a wonderful Italian wine. Expect light fruit on the nose and palate with strawberry and raspberry. There is a nice earth to it and a little extra something makes this wine very interesting to drink. And while the wine is soft, the texture is velvety and rich with a medium finish of spice and berries. As with all Chianti, this is 100% Sangiovese grapes. However, this Chianti sees 30 months in French oak casks. This helps with soften the wine, however you would think that there would be heavy oakiness, but there isn’t at all.
It would do well with any roast mean or game, even something like risotto. We drank it with braised short ribs and it was fantastic.