Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cellar Notes: Felsina & Isole e Olena

When it comes to Sangiovese, Felsina stands appropriately among the giants.  Whether Fontalloro, Chianti Classico, or the subject of this post, the Rancia Riserva, the wines are honest, soulful and delicious. They represent all that Sangiovese and Tuscany has to offer. 
 
I last tasted the subject wine about a year ago at a local wine shop.  This showing was over a meal, popped and poured and displayed a much more youthful wine.
 
The 1995 Felsina Chianti Classico Rancia Riserva again portrays itself as a stately gentlemen.  In the glass the wine is a deep garnet, with a rustic copper fade toward the rim of the bowl.  The aromas are classic; pure.  There's clay like road dust, dried tobacco, porcini mushroom and crushed cherry fruit in abundance. On the palate, the primary core of red fruits are accented now with worn leather, mushroom and a warm anise component.  All is in harmony.  The 1995 at the shop seemed a little tired to me and although I would submit that the instant bottle is fully mature, it seems slightly more virile. Had I any bottles left, I'd drink sooner rather than later, but decant for no more than 30 minutes to awaken the aromas and remove the fine sediment that formed.   91 points.  About $45 current retail.  

Felsina Rancia Riserva & Spring Tulips!

After dinner, I had picked up some up some perfect biscotti that needed a little moistening from a succulent Vin Santo, so the cellared 1997 Isole e Olena fit the bill wonderfully.

This is one of my favorite Vin Santo and I always try to keep a bottle or two around because it's not easy to find locally. At 16 years of age, this wine is throwing a significant sediment. So much so that the wine was cloudy in the glass.  I've never actually seen anything quite like it.  The aromas are so wonderful and complex.  Orange peel, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, hints of golden raisin all woven together seamlessly.  On the palate, this golden nectar is sweet without being cloying, with enough acidity to keep the wine vibrant. Flavors of honey, nuts, caramel and oranges are lively and pair perfectly with almond biscotti.  It's all I need for dessert!  93 points.  About $30 for a 375ml bottle.

The wine is unfiltered, but note how cloudy it is in the glass. Perhaps the most significant sediment I've ever seen in a white wine.  Isole e Olena is a trusted producer; up and down their portfolio.

Salute!

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