2008 Fattoria di Felsina Chianti Classico Berardenga Riserva Rancia

Year: 2008
Appellation: Tuscany
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 93+
Red Wine
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"Rather than get in the way of the cherry and blackberry flavors, the deft use of oak merely adds spice and interest. The firm backbone and earth and tobacco notes are rooted in place. The austere finish reflects tobacco and tea accents. Needs time. Best from 2014 through 2023. 3,333 cases made." (WS)

"The 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is playing it close to the vest at this stage. The 2008 is not a huge Rancia like the 2006, or a more obvious, immediate wine like the 2007. Instead, it reveals its charms only reluctantly. Layers of fruit hide beneath a powerful wall of tannin. The wine remains intensely mineral and equally primary, with little in the way of aromatic development. It is a shame to taste this today, as the wine clearly needs a number of years before it begins showing its true pedigree. Readers in search of immediate gratification should probably pass. Those in search of fine, cellar worthy Chianti Classico will adore the 2008 Rancia. Clean, saline notes frame the exquisite finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2023.

Felsina is the house Giuseppe Mazzocolin built, to borrow a phrase from Babe Ruth and the original Yankee Stadium. Last year Mazzocolin decided to step back from his insane day to day schedule running the winery. While Mazzocolin remains intimately involved in the winery, the future leadership of Felsina is in the hands of Giovanni Poggiali, the oldest son of proprietor Giuseppe Poggiali." (WA)

Winery Notes:
The 2008 growing season was characterised by ever-changing weather. A mild winter with just the right amount of rain was followed by a spring with below-average temperatures and large amounts of rain, which slowed down the first stages of vine growth and lessened fruit set somewhat. The last ten days of June saw improved conditions and ripening grew apace. The summer heat in fact led to fears of heat stress in the vines, but that fear was dissipated by mid-August rains, which allowed the vines to breathe and gave them renewed energy. Higher temperatures quickly arrived, in the latter part of August, and significant day-night temperature ranges led to notable sugar accumulation and to the development of crisp, fruity aromas that gave the grapes a vibrant, fresh-tasting charge. Pre-harvest weather remained favourable, with cool nights and practically no rain. The result was a return, after so many years of early harvests, to a more normal ripening pattern for Chianti Classico; we began picking sangiovese in mid-September and finished in mid-October. The grapes arrived in the cellar in optimal condition, sound and well balanced, making for a harvest that we can certainly regard as 5-star quality.