It’s not every day that a person gets to taste with a real life Baron, but last week that’s exactly what I did.

Pacific Wine & Spirits arranged a technical tasting of eight Ricasoli wines currently available in Alberta. The tasting was led by Barone Francesco Ricasoli himself.

Ricasoli (Ree-CA-so-lee) is the oldest winery in Italy and are the inventors of Chianti. Not only that but they are leaders in innovation and have painstakingly mapped out all the different soil types in their ancient vineyards.

Ninety percent of their grapes are handpicked and de-stemmed, then gently gravity fed into stainless steel tanks. They use a new method of punching down the cap during fermentation. It was explained that maceration is very important for Sangiovese grapes in particular because it is a fairly thin skinned grape requiring specific treatment to get enough tannin without bitterness.

Each parcel is picked and fermented separately in open vats and a certain percentage undergo malo-lactic fermentation before being blended into perfect balance. The bottles are closed with a select ‘green’ “cork” made entirely from sugar cane.

The reception wine was their Albia Bianco Toscana 2016, a pretty blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay & Malvasia Bianco. Elegant with hints of white peach and notes of orange blossom.

We tasted:

Ricasoli Albia Rose Toscana 2016 – Super pale salmon hue. Tart nose of citrus and berry fruit. Lovely dry attack, long and lean. Very fresh & firm. +230912 $

Torricella Chardonnay di Toscana IGT 2015 – Shoe polish nose of buttered fresh corn. Gorgeous floral attack. Long bright finish, somehow spicy and mineral with citrus highlights. Age worthy!  +713669 $$

Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG 2015 – Cherry pie nose. Splashy blueberry attack. Clean & bright. A joyful vintage. +3962 $

Brolio Bettino Chianti Classico DOCG 2015 – Herbaceous nose of sandalwood and black dirt. Stylish, elegant attack. Big chewy fruit and perfectly integrated tannins.  ❤  +792786 $$

Rocca Guicciarda (Goo-char-da) Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2014 – Stemmy nose of dark floral fruit. Velvet smooth attack. Great value this vintage as the best grapes that weren’t used in higher end Riservas in 2014 were made into Rocca Guicciarda. Very pretty and expressive.  ❤  +704912 $$

Casalferro Rosso Toscana IGT 2013 (100% Merlot) Anniversary Vintage Black Label – Glistening mid ruby. Hyacinth nose with green pepper and wet clay. Super bright fruit. Perfect balance and tannic structure.  ❤  ❤  +469692 $$$

Casalferro Rosso Toscana IGT 2015 White Label – Vibrant ruby hue. Meaty nose of fresh flowers. Warm licorice notes with distinctly salty highlights. Plush attack of cherry bright fruit. Balanced and accurate it covers all the zones on the palate picking them out one by one. Remarkable.  ❤  +469692 $$$

What a pleasure to attend a tasting of these wonderful wines. The awesome meter was moved to its’ limit as the event was hosted by The Glass Monkey who provided sublime food accompaniments and excellent service.

My advice is to go get yourself some of these wines or at least get yourself out to the Glass Monkey and enjoy what they have to offer as soon as you can!

 

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