There are Italian wine families that you come to trust over the years, given the consistent quality of their wines. For Tuscany, a name I admire as much as any is Frescobaldi, a family that as 700 years of wine history in the region. Today, Frescobaldi has six Tuscan estates, most famously Nipozzano in the Chianti Rufina district near Florence; they also own other wineries in the region, including Ornellaia and Masseto.
Their most recent Tuscan estate is Tenuta di Perano of Chianti Classico. Situated in the commune of Gaiole in Chianti in the southern half of the region, some 500-550 meters above sea level in a remarkably beautiful setting (see above image). There are three initial wines that have been released, with two of them, a Chianti Classico and a Chianti Classico Riserva, available in the US market; a Gran Selezione named Rialzi rounds out the portfolio.
The 2015 Chianti Classico normale is a lovely wine, prime evidence of how charming this wine type can be when made in an elegant, harmonious fashion. Made primarily from Sangiovese with small percentages of local red varieties, this offers sour cherry, thyme and carnation aromas, and is medium-bodied with good concentration. Nicely balanced with moderate tannins, good acidity and very good persistence, there is excellent typicity. Not a powerhouse, but rather, a Chianti Classico styled first and foremost for food. Enjoy over the next 2-3 years. Very Good to Excellent
The 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva, which contains a small amount of Merlot to accompany the Sangiovese, is is richer wine, but one also with more wood notes. Offering morel cherry, plum and purple iris aromas, this is medium-full with very good ripeness, a rich mid-palate, medium-weight tannins and a lengthy finish. This is quite impressive in its varietal character and complexity, and while approachable now, another year or two will reveal greater complexities. Peak in 5-7 years, perhaps longer. Excellent
A few miles north of Gaiole is the town of Greve in Chianti. The wines of Podere Poggio Scalette are produced from vineyards here, specifically from a hill known as Ruffoli. It was here in 1991 when Vittorio Fiore and his wife Adriana planted vineyards and olive groves; today, there are five wines produced – four of them red -along with grappa and olive oil. I recently tasted two new releases.
The 2017 Chianti Classico is 100% Sangiovese that was fermented and aged in cement vats. Medium-full, this offers ripe black cherry fruit (2017 was a hot growing season), and notes of brown herbs, with medium-weight tannins. This is a bit sharp on its own, but it is so enjoyable with grilled meats. Enjoy this over the next 2-3 years. Very Good
The 2016 “Il Carbonaione” is 100% Sangiovese from vineyards averaging 80 years of age. Deep ruby red with inviting aromas of red and black cherry and plum, this is medium-full with nicely integrated wood notes (from medium-sized oak casks) and has a lengthy, appealing, well balanced finish. This is approachable now, but will be its best in another 5-7 years, and should peak a few years after that. Pair this with game birds or most grilled meats. Excellent