La Marcellina

2005 Sassocupo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG

Sangiovese •Panzano in Chianti

Italy: Tuscany

Offer Expired:Sep 27, 2009 at 11:59 pm
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What We Say


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Mission Codename: Desperately Seeking Sassocupo

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Visit Fattoria La Marcellina and acquire their unique Sassocupo Chianti Classic Riserva

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Fattoria La Marcellina

Wine Subject: 2005 Sassocupo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG

Winemaker: Fabio Castellacci


Chianti Classico DOCG is produced in one of the eight sub-regions in the Chianti region. This one hales from the Panzano in Chianti commune, in the Chianti hills about halfway between Siena to the south and Florence to the north. The DOCG requires that these wines range from 75-100% Sangiovese grapes and often is blended with Caniolo Nero, Trebbiano, Colorino, Malvasia or Cabernet Sauvignon (regular Chianti is limited to no more than 90% Sangiovese).

This Chianti Classico DOCG is 80% Sangiovese, 15% Caniolo, 5% Colorino and like has exceptional cellar potential. The finest Chianti Classico, such as this one, can age gracefully for up to 20 years and are also among the funnest food wines from Italy.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark plumy purple with ruby and garnet hues through its clear densely colored core. Along the edges the color fades to ruby then pink and when swirled, this springy and slightly thicker wine leaves long slender legs along the edges of the glass.

Smell – Redolent, perfumed and inviting aromas of dark tart and earthy bramble berries and floral violets lead off, then ripe and juicy dark cherry aromas emerges that are layered with complex notes of mild toasted oak, spice, licorice and cigar tobacco.

Feel – This full-bodied wine has finely grained tannins that spread to the far corners of the palate and coat the tongue that are immediately followed by bright tangy acidity and a kick of mild spice that lingers through to the finish.

Taste – Dense and bold, but also friendly and familiar flavors of tart and ripe earthy and spiced blackberry and black cherry and a hint of cranberry are integrated with mild toasted oak, black licorice, cigar tobacco and a hint of leather and zesty tar.

Finish – This wine finishes long with lingering tart and ripe dark fruit supported by this wines tangy acidity and textured tannins.

Conclusion – The 2005 Fattoria La Marcellina Sassocupo Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG is a delicious Sangiovese based wine that reminds us why these wines are perfect for foodies. vivid aromas, a textured structure and tangy complex flavors will pair well with anything you create with Italian influence. We paired this lovely wine with two pastas, the first topped with lamb ragu and the second a Porcini mushrooms with black truffle olive oil. Cin Cin!

Mission Report:

Word came in from OPS to head south from Florence and find Sassocupo… I had heard rumors of Sassocupo, but wasn’t sure what exactly what he or she, or it was. The rumors ranged from a Sasquatch type creature that wrecked havoc in the area to a small ground mole that raided vineyards in search of a tasty meal. I had no idea what to expect.

My local asset on the ground, Agent Baco Noir promoted the Sasquatch theory, I think in an effort to not only intimidate me but also, as I found out later, to as part of her ongoing game with me. Baco informed me that she had a lead and insisted that I be prepared for outdoor activities (think Man v. Wild), but I wasn’t worried, heck this was Tuscany, how wild would it get, not to mention, my local asset never wore anything less than 4 inch heels, regardless of the terrain.

We ventured forth on our Vespas through the winding hills of the Chianti region, and we approached a vineyard in the Panzano in Chianti commune. From here we went on foot, and walked into a carefully tended Sangiovese vineyard. Then things started to get strange, I started hearing grunts and other not-so-natural sounds. She took up a position behind me and pushed me forward. The noises continued and in the distance I could see a small worn-out barn.

“There, in the barn”, She pointed… _ “My contact said to check there…”_

As I opened the creaky door, a thin ray of sunlight lit only a portion of the otherwise dark and dusty barn. I took a step in and the door slammed shut with a shudder, both from the barn and also up my spine. Just then, Baco, goosed me by grabbing me from behind and scared the, well, better discretion says I cannot describe….

As she laughed, the door opened, and the Castellacci family emerged with big smiles and said “let’s go and meet Sassocupo”, as they presented me a bottle of their Chianti Classico Riserva, named Sassocupo.

Mystery solved, and a delicious mystery it was.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Fattoria La Marcellina can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

Intense ruby red with garnet hues. Elegant and traditional with aromas of black pulp forest berries, violets, licorice, tobacco, old oak and spices. Rich in elegant tannins, smooth and velvety with great acidity and structure and a long refined finish reminiscent of the nose.

About The Winery:

The residence situated next to the winery has ancient, definitely Medieval origins.

The original tower was a guardpost for the nearby castle.

Writings from the period record that the family of Firidolfi da Panzano, feudal lords of the castle in the village of the same name, gave the land and house which today form La Marcellina farm to a certain Marcello, who had rid them of a troublesome enemy.

The destitute marcello now found himself the proprietor of a house and land, and named the property “Marcello”.

A subsequent transcription error transformed this into “Marcellina”, and later “La Marcellina”. The namen it retains to this day.

History of the Vineyards:

La Marcellina winery is an ancient Chianti-style building dating back to the Middle Ages, when its tower was used in wars by the nearby castle of Panzano.

When its military service was over, it became a rural home, and its structure was gradually extended and tarnsformed into the present day buildings.

13 of 20 hectares of farmlands are specialised vineyards, the birthplace of truly unique Chianti Classico D.O.C.G. wines.

Olive groves cover the remaining land for the production of a really stylish Extra Virgin Olive Oil, enjoyed around the world.

Technical Analysis:

Grape Composition: 80% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 5% Colorino

Name of Vineyard: Panzano in Chianti vineyards

Size of Vineyard: 30 hectars

Planting Density: 3800 vines per hectare

Clones: VCR23 (Sangiovese), regular Tuscan clones for other grapes

Harvest Date: 30th SEP – 15th OCT

Year Planted: 1974-1984

Alcohol Content: 13.60%

Residual Sugar: 0.9 g/lt

Total Acidity (TA): 5.4

pH: 3.57

Cooperage: large oak barrels

Length of Aging: 30-36 months in barrel, 90 days in bottle

Fining/Filtration: No Fining/Filtered

Cases Produced: 500

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