Hello friends. This is the fourth-ever offer of what I like to call Sauron wines: wines requiring the full attention of Full Pull’s great lidless eye. Basically, these are wines with long delays between a strong review and the release date for the wine. The previous three Sauron wines? 2010 Maison Bleue Graviere in 2012, 2008 Bunnell Horse Heaven Syrah in 2013, 2012 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir Seven Springs Vineyard in April 2015.
Since last year, the lidless eye has been chillin’, keeping an eye on things via Palantir and just hanging out in Mordor with the Witch-King of Angmar. You know how it goes. But then earlier this year, the lidless eye stirred:
There was only one problem: our local importer was still selling the 2010 vintage (a great wine unto itself, and one we offered back in November 2014). So we trained FP’s lidless eye on Tuscany, where it has been waiting and watching since. The great eye tells me that the container including this wine is scheduled to hit the Port of Seattle this week, so now is the time to offer this wine and stake our collective claim before the rest of the market even realizes the wine has arrived.
Here’s the Enthusiast review: Wine Enthusiast (Kerin O’Keefe): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 95pts.”
This offer also presents a good opportunity to explain again what “Gran Selezione” is all about. It’s a relatively new category for Chianti, introduced by the Consorzio just in the past few years. Bruce Sanderson wrote a fine article about it (featuring San Felice, as it happens) for Wine Spectator. The upshot is: these are supposed to be the highest quality Chiantis produced. They must be entirely estate-grown, must be aged for 30 months, and must be at least 80% Sangiovese, the remainder other approved varieties.
That “other approved varieties” is where San Felice gets to have fun, because they have something on site called their “Vitiarium.” Started in 1980, it houses more than 200 obscure indigenous varieties, several of which go into this 2011 (Abrusco, Pugnitello, Malvasia Nera, Ciliegiolo, Mazzese). The wine sees 24 months in a mix of large Slavonian botti and small French barrique, then another 8 months in bottle before release. It clocks in at 14.5% listed alc and begins with a nose offering a wonderful combination of fruit (red and black cherries) and earthy/fungal tones (soil, shitake). With time and oxygen, a lovely savory note of cured meats appeared, just adding to the overall complexity. It’s in a beautiful drinking window, deftly mixing primary and tertiary notes. While I see this as a wine well-structured for continued evolution (the tannins have just a hint of Chianti rusticity), it’s awfully delicious right now. This is stylish Sangiovese indeed.
Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.