We recently opened two standout Italian wines from San Felice, the historic estate located in the heart of Chianti Classico territory. San Felice Vigorello 2018 marks the 50th vintage of the first Supertuscan produced in Chianti Classico. Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino has placed in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list five times. Read on for more details about San Felice and these two attractive wines.
Historic San Felice
The San Felice estate covers about 685 hectares in Tuscany’s three most prestigious production zones: Chianti Classico, Montalcino and Bolgheri. It also includes about 15,000 olive trees. As well, the estate features a luxurious hotel, highly regarded restaurants and spa.
At an altitude of about 1,300 feet above sea level, San Felice credits a perfect combination of soil and micro-climate, together with a wide temperature range, for producing excellent wines and oils.
Just a few miles from Siena, the area was owned by the Grisaldi del Taja family from 1700 to 1968. Subsequently, in the late 1970s, the Allianz Group transformed the aristocratic estate into a wine-growing and winemaking business. But before that, the initial Supertuscan, Vigorella, was created at the estate in 1968. At that time, Vigorello comprised 100% Sangiovese.
However, in 1979, the wine blended Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Next, in 2001, San Felice added Merlot, which, five years later, entirely replaced Sangiovese. In 2011, the estate introduced Pugnitello, an ancient, native vine rediscovered, and then blended with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
San Felice Vigorello 2018 ($58)
First, we loved this powerhouse wine, the original Supertuscan produced in Chianti Classico. The 50th anniversary blend now includes 35% Pugnitello, in addition to 30% each of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot. The blend of grapes sings to our palates. It’s an outstanding, dense, rich, complex and structured red wine. Aromas of black currants, blackberries, black cherries and spices mirror the palate, along with hints of vanilla, cassis and chocolate. We decanted it for several hours, and it paired perfectly with our barbecued steak dinner. But we recommend putting it in the cellar for a few more years. This iconic wine is recognized for its longevity, with an aging potential of 15-20 years.
Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino 2017 ($62)
Next, we opened San Felice Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino 2017, which is 100% Sangiovese and classic in style. We understand why Wine Spectator named this beauty to its Top 100 list five times. This red is medium-bodied, bright, and of course, lighter and softer than the Vigorello. Aromas of black cherries, plums and graphite lead into flavors of sweet spices, blackberries, other dark fruit and dark chocolate. We drank it over three nights, and it kept getting better and better. However, while it is drinking well now, we suggest putting it away for a few years to experience its full potential.
Good-Value San Felice Wines
We previously tasted two wallet-friendly San Felice wines: Il Grigio Classico Riserva 2018 ($26) and Chianti Classico DOCG 2019 ($20). Il Grigio is 100% Sangiovese from Tuscany. It’s the most full-bodied Sangiovese we have tasted in recent memory. Chianti Classico 2019 is bright, approachable and food-friendly.
In conclusion, San Felice produces a variety of wines ranging in price from the wallet-friendly Il Grigio Classico Riserva 2018 and Chianti Classico 2019 to special-occasion bottles such as Vigorello 2018 and Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino 2017.
Certainly, we recommend all four.
Thank you for the samples, San Felice and Platinum Media Agency.
Margot and Dave