Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG – Organic and Biodynamic
This true classic is the first wine bottled at Badia a Coltibuono in modern times, beginning in the 1950s. It represents the estate’s history and a significant part of the history of Chianti. Like the Annata (the non-riserva version), this wine uses a traditional blend of Sangiovese and complementary varieties. To ensure that only the very best is bottled as Riserva, at each step in its production the utmost care is taken to achieve excellence, beginning with a careful choice of the best grapes in the best vineyards, manual sorting at the winery, long maceration on the skins, and a second selection of only the best lots after the first year of cask aging. The resulting wine is complex, deep, nuanced, and extremely long-lived. It transcends the freshness and complexity of the annata, showing how power and elegance can live together and develop for decades.
Badia a Coltibuono, or “The Abbey of Good Harvest,” lies in the heart of the Chianti Classico area, between Florence and Siena. The Abbey is approximately two thousand years old, but history records date the property back to the Etruscan civilizations of the 3rd century BC. Today, the estate is composed of vineyards, chestnut, walnut and olive trees, all of them lying on one of the best sites in the Chianti area, where the soil is very rich and the climate is mild and sunny all year round. Badia a Coltibuono is very proud to produce some of Tuscany’s finest and most noble wines.
An ancient badia, or abbey, holds a special place in the history of Western Europe. During the Middle Ages, these abbeys served not only as places of worship and spiritual refuge but also as centers of learning, engines for economic growth, and laboratories for agricultural development: coltibuono.
The monastery was active from 1000 AD. to around 1800. when Napoleon annexed most church property in Tuscany. He gave several away to friends or as political favors and sold others. As a result, there were two previous owners between the time of the annexation and the abbey’s purchase by the current owner’s (the Stucchi family) ancestors in 1841.
Emanuela Stucchi and her siblings represent the seventh-generation stewards of the property. The philosophical approach is to maintain both the integrity of Sangiovese and the unique terroir of Chianti Classico through organic and biodynamic farming practices, clonal diversity, restrained use of new oak barrels, and the shunning of dominant varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon. They continue to work with pioneering Tuscan oenologist Maurizio Castelli.
The Badia a Coltibuono Riserva is the estate’s most classic wine, made exclusively in better vintages. The Southwest facing vineyard consists of clay and limestone rock with 35+ year old vines. The fruit is all hand-harvested followed by native yeast fermentation. The wine then spends 24 months in French and Austrian oak casks of varying sizes, followed by a period of at least four months of bottle age before release. Organically farmed, following biodynamic farming principles.
93 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: Showing beautiful results in an excellent vintage, the 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva is a graceful and elegantly tempered red wine. It makes good on all the basic promises of traditional Sangiovese: the complexity and elegance of the grape and that fresh acidity. It opens to a mid-weight style, making this a perfect wine for roast chicken and roast potatoes. Pretty mineral notes appear on the close, and the tannin is beautifully integrated.