A small line-up of Felsina wines was put on show by Prince Wine Store recently. I’m not sure whether these had been available in Australia before, I remember trying their wines at a small-ish CEC tasting in London but I honestly can’t remember which ones. So, based purely on my impression of the wines at this tasting, the Felsinas are tasty Chiantis suited for medium-term cellaring, and look quite well-priced for the Australian market. Nothing big and bold here, traditional styled with deep dark berry flavours with pleasantly structured tannins. I personally recommend trying them if possible.
Felsina Chianti Classico 2011 DOCG, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Tuscany
$41-49. This is a very nice Chianti Classico, slightly more expensive than some of the Chianti Classicos you can find around the place, but for the quality in the bottle, it’s a fair price. 100% Sangiovese, matured in medium-toasted 1 or 2 year old Slovenian oak barrels for 12 months, then bottle-aged for a further 3 months. Light aromas of black cherry and earthy spice, medium-bodied wine with a moderate load of ripe supple tannins. Good length to the finish. Very happy to drink this on its own. Drink now – 2020+ 92/100.
Felsina Rancia Riserva Chianti Classico 2009 DOCG, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Tuscany
$85-$100. 2009 started with a very wet winter followed-up by a hot summer, quite the vintage of contrasts. The late summer rains reinvigorated the vines and added plumpness to the fruit just before harvest. Hand-picked destemmed fruit from the elevated 400m south-west facing vineyards of the property, matured in first or second year 225-L French oak barrels for 16-18 months, then further bottle ageing for 6-8 months. Dark ruby colour, denser core of aromas compared to the Classico. Notes of dark cherry, cherry jam, dark chocolate, bark and spice. Medium+bodied with with moderate acidity, youthful tannins. Clean cushy dark cherry and blackberry flavours dusted with savoury spice. Masculine, angled structure, a bit raw right now maybe, good cellaring potential. Drink 2016 – 2030. 94+/100.
Felsina Fontalloro IGT 2005, Tuscany
$100-120. A blend of Sangiovese from 50+ year old vineyards at two sites, Chianti Classico and Chianti Colli Senesi with different soil compositions. The Classico district is abundant with larger stones and limestone, compared to the Crete Senesi site which is a mixture of sand, loam and silt, pebbles and marine sediments. The 2005 is already showing aromatic signs of age, perhaps speaking to the difficult hot vintage conditions. Notes of dark berry fruit, licorice, leather and earth. Developed, medium+ bodied wine with moderate acidity. Lower levels of fine tannins, the fruit is clean but dimishing with a clean finish. Compared straight up against the 2009, clearly demonstrates the impact of vintage conditions. Drink now. 89/100.
Felsina Fontalloro IGT 2009, Tuscany
$100-120. A completely different work of art compared to the 2009. The 2009 is like post-modernist, a fresh perspective on the palate. The aroma profile is sleeker, sexier and more rounded. Sweet youthful notes of cherry, red berries, florals and spice. Med+ bodied wine with high acidity, ripe smooth tannins provide a firm structure. Clean, deep blackberry, black currant flavours, slightly cinnamon spiced, licorice, with long clean finish. Drink now – 2025. 92/100.
Felsina Vin Santo Chianti Classico 2004 DOC, Tuscany
$73-87. Listen to the winemaking process and you can appreciate the price for this half bottle. The fruit is racked for air-drying from Sept – Dec/Jan then pressed before the must (the crushed fruit bits) is transferred into 100L casks with a dense “mother” syrup from previous vintages. The casks are sealed then left to age for 7 years, before another year in the bottle. This is a (55/25/20) blend of Malsavia, Trebbiano and Sangiovese, with the sangiovese imparting a more robust flavour compared to other Malsavia-based sweet wines. Clear golden yellow colour with enticing sweet aromas of peach and tropical fruit. This is an amazing drink to be enjoyed slightly chilled. Soft structure, sufficient acidity to balance the sweetness. Long lush finish. Drink now – 2030? 95+/100.
Found a couple of English interviews with Giuseppe Mazzocolin from 2011, just before he stepped down from running the day-to-day operations. Nice introduction to Felsina.