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La Castellina “Squarcialupi” Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2015

La Castellina “Squarcialupi” Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2015

£27.45

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Winemaker

Geographical Indication

Grape

ABV

14.5%

Vintage

2015

This is the top wine from La Castellina, aged 30 months for richness and depth

La Castellina winery is located in a historic castle that once belonged to the formidable Scuarcialupi family who this exceptional wine is named for. The medieval grand-masters of Chianti, they were allies and rivals of the powerful House of Medici. This wine falls within the “Gran Selezione” standard, which was introduced in 2010 to mark the very best Chianti Classico wines.

This “Scuarcialupi” Gran Selezione is made by Dr Tommaso Bojola from grapes harvested on the slopes just behind Castellina in Chianti, at about 550 metres above sea level. This altitude plays its role. The difference in temperature between day and night is quite steep, helping grapes to develop more aromatic complexity. There are two vineyards, both facing south-south-east. One has soil rich in white sandstone and clay. The second has black galestro soil, with compressed silts and clays (pictured).

Winemaking

To craft “Scuarcialupi” Gran Selezione, grape juice is first fermented for ten days in stainless steel vats. All the sugar is converted into alcohol, creating a perfectly dry wine. For the next three weeks, Tommaso keeps the wine in contact with the skin, extracting deeper colour and all of the complex flavours of Sangiovese (NB – such long maceration is simply unthinkable for inexpensive wines, which must move quickly). After pressing, the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation for another 20 days. Next, the wine spends two years in small, 225-litre Tuscan oak barriques, where it gains lush secondary notes of espresso and cloves.

We first tasted this 2015 vintage back in 2019, and it was lovely. But we imported it in 2021, after the wine spent a whole seven years maturing in the cellars of the Scuarcialupi Castle. It’s still full of acidity and freshness, with a dark ruby colour – only now is it starting to get a hint of garnet.  In 2019, James Suckling wrote that it will be “better in 2020, but (is) already impressive.” We’re in 2021, but for this wine it seems to be only the beginning.

Tasting notes:

In the glass, this Chianti Classico Gran Selezione has a deep ruby colour. It opens up with fresh aromas of cranberry, black cherry, blueberry and mint, leading to notes of blackberry preserve, leather, truffle and forest floor. This is supported by hints of clove and espresso from oak ageing. This wine has lots of acidity and grippy tannins. It’s designed for long ageing, and is a perfect choice for laying down in your cellar to enjoy in a few years time.

Awards:

James Suckling – 92 points (2015 vintage) | Falstaff – 91 points (2015 vintage) | Wine Enthusiast – 89 points (2015 vintage)

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1 review for La Castellina “Squarcialupi” Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2015

  1. Ross111

    Sumptuous, rich wine. Enjoyed it with home cooked bolognese as well as steak.

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