Certainly one of the highly regarded estates of Chianti, with vineyard holdings just over 65 hectares at between 1000 & 1700 feet in elevation….with calcareous clay, pebble rich soils. The 2006 was rated 92 points by The Wine Advocate. It certainly displays the dried cherry/red fruit & autumn leaves nuances, one would expect from Tuscan Sangiovese with the pedigree & character would one expect from such a top estate. We were also glad to see the 2006 open up again, eventhough only slightly. The big question is…….is this wine worth $42 retail?
Melini first designated their “La Selvanella” bottling with the 1969 vintage, making it, according to them, the first single vineyard designated bottling for Chianti. Over the years, this bottling has received a Tres Bischeri designation by Gambero Rosso magazine on a few occassions, including this 2006. The wine spends 36 months in French oak, which is now really intergrating itself wonderfully into the wine, thus framing a deep, resounding fruit & structure core & rounding out the edges, which seemed almost impenetrable in its youth.
2006 Tenuta Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino
I remember having the wines from this estate back in the late 70’s/early 80’s, when superstar, iconic oenologist Vittorio Fiore was the consultant. The 90 hectare estate is located at roughly 750 feet elevation. Eventhough this wine was rated 91 points by one publication & 93 points by another, some of the tasters felt, it was lean & higher in acidity than a typical 90 point wine, I just feel their wines have always seemed to be more on the elegant, refined style & this again seems to be true with the 2006.
2006 Donna Olga Brunello di Montalcino
The 11 hectare estate vineyard is located at roughly 700 feet elevation & the soil is mainly marl & volcanic in composition. The resulting wine is deeper, with more stuffing & testosterone in terms of structure, which at least partially explains why it was rated 92 points by both the Wine Advocate & the Wine Spectator. The nose definitely was more rustic in character than the other 3 wines…..AND it REALLY opened up after an hour of breathing & wow-ed all of the tasters.
Top echelon Tuscan Sangiovese really needs some years in the bottle before it will start to show its peacock feathers. At 7 years old, they are still surprisingly closed & backwards, eventhough one can really sense the potential they will have with patience & therefore more cellar time. Do yourself a favor & wait a few years before popping one of their corks.