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A Tuscan Red from an Ideal Site

Fattoria di Felsina Chianti Classico Berardenga Rancia Riserva 2005
Harvey Steiman
Posted: October 2, 2009

When I first looked at Fattoria di Felsina's Rancia vineyard, in the late 1980s, it struck me as the perfect vineyard. Placed halfway up a fairly steep mountainside in Castelnuovo Berardenga, the southernmost subdistrict of Tuscany's Chianti Classico region, the site looked like someone had carved out a table. The land tilted due south, and every vine seemed to have the same exposure. In wine terms, that practically guarantees perfectly even ripening.

In my experience, Rancia delivers on that promise with ripe, generous flavors in the Sangiovese grapes, which are bottled separately from those from Felsina's other vineyards. Owner Giuseppe Mazzocolin and winemaker Franco Bernabei whittle away at that ripeness to create a wine of subtlety and depth, vintage after vintage. The 2005, a very good vintage in Chianti, has gorgeous blackberry and plum fruit, framed by polished tannins, lively acidity and a hint of wet stone on the finish, which goes on and on nicely. It's priced at $40 and I gave it 91 points, non-blind. members: Read the original blind tasting review for Fattoria di Felsina Chianti Classico Berardenga Rancia Riserva 2005 (91, $40).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Chianti Classico reds.

FREE: Watch our video visit to Felsina during the Chianti Classico harvest.

Member comments   4 comment(s)

John Parry Wynne — uk —  October 2, 2009 6:32am ET

I've just finished my case of the '97 and it has given me consistent pleasure from the moment I approached the first bottle in 2001. Much too early but still wonderful with its ripe tannins and rich silky fruit.

Scott Webster — Mississauga, Ontario, Canada —  October 14, 2009 6:08pm ET


I have the chance right now to buy a bottle of 1966 Carpineto Chianti Classico for $125 CDN the bottle is full and in mint condition and has been correctly cellered at 55 degrees, do you think this is a wise buy or is the wine well past its prime, the Wine Spectator vintage charts dont go that far back for Chianti.... please let me know

Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA —  October 14, 2009 7:02pm ET

Feeling lucky? Any Chianti that old is a roll of the dice. I would say the odds are not in your favor.

Scott Webster — Mississauga, Ontario, Canada —  October 14, 2009 8:03pm ET


Thats what i thought, i offered the vendor $50 but he didnt bite! Its funny what you can find for sale online, I bought a Double Magnum of 1988 Castello Di Verrazzano for $60 CDN and it is perfect, completely full and in mint condition also cellered and i am sure with the 88 vintage for Chianti it should drink well!

Thanks for your help

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