Region: Castelnuovo Berardenga, (SI) Tuscany
Castell’in Villa is a small estate in Castelnuovo Berardenga, at the south end of the Chianti Classico region. Both the Chianti Classico and the Riserva are made entirely of Sangiovese, vinified using indigenous fermentations and aged in the traditional large oval barrels, and have been some of the best wines in the appellation for decades. (The owner of the estate, Coralia Pignatelli della Leonessa, has never wavered in her commitment to traditional winemaking.) The resulting wines are soulful, distinctive, long-lived, and delicious, proof that the Sangiovese grape can rise to greatness when grown in the right place.
Estate-grown in Castelnuovo Berardenga in alluvial soil with pebbles and sand; 100% Sangiovese. The wine is fermented in stainless steel using indigenous yeasts, and is kept in contact with the skins for a little less than two weeks. The wine is aged in large oval barrels (‘botti’) for two years before bottling. The resulting wine is the best kind of classic Chianti, with the classic aromas of sour cherry, fine leather, sandalwood and cedar, fresh acidity, attractive fine tannins, and a long, complex palate impression. This style of Chianti Classico is a brilliant wine at table, medium-weight, savoury, based on fresh acidity rather than tannins.
Says Kerin O’Keefe MW of the 2013: Vibrant and silky, this pure expression of Sangiovese is all about finesse, starting with alluring scents of wild berry, crushed rose petal, tilled earth, aromatic herb and new leather. The elegant, linear palate is almost ethereal, offering juicy red cherry, strawberry compote, star anise and white pepper set against firm, refined tannins. It’s balanced, with bright acidity. Enjoy now or hold for even more complexity. Drink through 2026.