Mission Codename Rocca solida
“I was completely blown away…” – Vinous
Oh, yea. This ain’t your daddy’s straw-basket Chianti.
This is high water mark Chianti. World class Chianti. With two 96 point scores, plus a pair of 95s for good measure. At a price that defies all reasonable explanation.
For all practical purposes, it barely resembles one. It just happens to be from a site there. It’s Brunello-good, and Super-serious. It rests firmly in a tier of Italy’s greatest wines, no doubt.
And don’t just take our word for it, Antonio Galloni doesn’t often say “I would be thrilled to own” for any wine.
Montegrossi is an iconic Tuscan winery dating back to the ‘80s, and this top-of-the-line ‘Gran Selezione’ single vineyard is at the highest level the appellation can achieve. And that’s exactly what the glass holds at a quality level rarely seen in Tuscany. Ripely dripping with red and black cherries, purple plums, dusty cocoa-covered blueberries, cigar box, violets, minerals, this has all, as the palate confirms the perfumes. Length, complexity, profoundness, it’s evident why it has more accolades than an army general adorned with medals from head to toe. A showstopper in the true sense, without exaggeration.
How about cellaring some? Wine Spectator advises “San Marcellino vineyard Sangiovese makes for outstanding, mineral-driven Chianti Classico. Sangiovese from this area possesses a very strong backbone and mineral expression and is capable of long aging. The flagship and the smaller production 15-acre single-vineyard Vigneto San Marcellino, bottled in the best years, can go the distance, as the 1999, 1995 and a 1990 bottling demonstrated.”
Reviews suggest peak drinking through 2045! We say life is too short to wait that long to open this in abundance this Fall. Oh, and double the 96 points plus a pair of 95s, in the Top-100 for Wine & Spirits and Wine Spectator too, this was $75 once, but way under $50 today.
You know the drill…
96 Points, Top-100 – Wine & Spirits
“Chianti Classico’s superb 2016 vintage yielded some excellent wines, and Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi’s Gran Selezione is among the best we’ve tasted. The wine stands out for its combination of firm structure, elegant texture, and vibrant flavors. The fruit tones are dark and plummy, a nod to the 6% of Pugnitello in the blend, and the wine unfolds to reveal layers of licorice, tobacco and subtle spice. Fine tannins give shape to those rich flavors, and well-integrated acidity lifts the finish.”
96 Points – Decanter
“Vigna San Marcellino is both youthfully fresh and maturely complex. It includes a healthy dose of the deeply coloured Pugnitello grape, and both this and the Sangiovese saw long post-fermentation macerations of over 30 days in 2016. Liquorice, tarragon and broom interlace with exuberant plum and understated toasted nuances that are seductive. Laden with black cherry and rich, velvety tannins, the palate is creamy in texture, while underlying chalkiness and saline minerality lend energy, leading to a sappy, refreshing finish.”
95 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“I was completely blown away by the wines I tasted at Rocca di Montegrossi this year. Proprietor Marco Ricasoli Firidolfi turned out some of the most brilliant wines of his illustrious career… they are all stellar. I would be thrilled to own them. The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto San Marcellino is a dense, packed wine. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2016 is an infant. Super-ripe blue/purplish fruit, spice, leather, tobacco and menthol build in the glass. The 2016 is dense and opulent, and yet the acids pulse with energy, lending a feeling of translucence that becomes especially apparent on the finish. That combination makes for a compelling Gran Selezione that should age well for 15-20 years or more. Drink 2023-2035.”
95 Points, #46/100 – Wine Spectator
“A meaty, muscular version, this red displays black cherry, blackberry, tar, leather and iron aromas and flavors. There is beam of fruit, along with a tightly-wound, vibrant structure. Fine length too. Sangiovese and Canaiolo. Best from 2024 through 2045.”
What the Winery Says
2016 'San Marcellino' Gran Selezione
- Consulting winemaker
- Attilio Pagli
- Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi
- Dr. Stefano Dini
- 90% Sangiovese, 10% Pugnitello
- Gaiole, Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany
- Vigneto San Marcellino, 100% Certified Organic
- 1,050-1,500 feet
- Age of vines
- 20-50 years
- Albanese (limestone) and Galestro (schist) with clay
- 24 months
- 25% new French oak from Allier