- AppellationChianti Classico
- Aging/Cooperage15 months in new barriques and 15 months in wooden barrels. Aged in bottle for about 12 months
Villa a Sesta Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Sorleone 2016
Villa a Sesta is a gorgeous, ancient village of Etruscan origins, set into the hills of Siena and a serious up-and-comer in the world of fine Chianti. 93 POINTS and coming in under $30 for this extraordinary special Gran Selezione is a bargain.
Imagine...a bustling, picture-perfect village of just 12 (TWELVE!) full-time residents in the glorious rolling hills of the famed Chianti Classico. Heaven, right? That’s what’s been bottled here...a generously warm, unctuous, and pure glass of Tuscan ambrosia...just for you. It’s hard to overstate the excellence of the 2016 vintage in Italy (and especially Tuscany). Lush yet fresh, supremely balanced, complex, and cellar-worthy – simply all the good stuff in one!
This 100% sangiovese hails from three different vineyards, Casanova – rich in silt and clay, Caggio vineyards – with abundant galestro deposits, and Vigneti della Cava – sandy clay soils particularly rich in minerals. These hillside vineyards thrived in Tuscany’s classic 2016 growing season, and more fruit, perfectly ripe, with a glorious depth of flavor, color, and structure was the end result. Following fermentation, the wine spent 15 months in new barriques before being transferred for an additional 15 months in large, neutral wooden barrels. From there, the wine was bottled and rested for an additional 12 months before hitting the market. It is this exceptional aging, and new oak exposure that makes this a “Gran Selezione” offering – Chianti’s answer to a modern-day Brunello. Deeper, richer, with more pronounced structure – these wines are brawny and dynamic in a way not commonly found amongst most Chianti Classicos.
Floral notes of roses and violets give way to more domineering expressions of blackberries, cherries, and raspberries – elegantly harnessed by sensations of new leather, fresh-turned earth, clove, and peppery spices. The finish is expansive and long, yet nevertheless, incredibly smooth. Lovers of New World cabs, Garagiste Bordeaux, and the aforementioned modern Brunello style are a perfect fit for this wine – that just so happens to come in at far, far less than the average price point of any of those other options. Try a few and you’ll be coming back, begging for more. While it lasts, at least!
PAIRING IDEAS: Give this a go with a big ol’ steak. I recently was gifted a stunning 3 lb. Tomahawk ribeye steak (lucky me!) and opted to go reverse sear. I seasoned it with a rub of salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, and cayenne, then slow-smoked with hickory to about 120 degrees. I then seared it at 700+ degrees to get a perfect crust until it reached about 125 internal. Rest for 15 minutes, slice, and serve with a glass of this...you’ll be grand.