Ricasoli, Chianti del Barone
This is a lovely bright and juicy Chianti that shows the quality of the region's signature Sangiovese grape variety. Blended with other indigenous Tuscan varieties as well as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, it is what the Ricasoli family call a 'modern-style' interpretation of the Chianti zone. Blackberry and cherry with notes of tea leaf and a fresh lively finish. Excellent with traditional and modern cuisine.
Modern is an interesting term for a family like the Ricasolis - they have been living on the same estate outside the town of Gaiole in the south of the Chianti Classico sub-zone since 1141. It's sometimes hard to imagine life in our grandparents' days, let alone a few hundred years ago... but this estate, set in the grounds and lands of the magnificent Castello di Brolio, has been occupied by the same family for 880 years. The home of the Barone Ricasoli, who is Francesco, it bears the scars of invasions, wars as well as growth and prosperity.
Most of the Barons (Francesco is currently the 32nd) are buried in the crypt of the family's chapel at the heart of the Castle's buildings and it is true to say that without the family, Chianti as we know it would not exist. This is because of Bettino Ricasoli, born in 1809, who was one of the key figures in the Italian Risurgimento, Prime Minister of Italy in the 1860s and creator of the recipe for Chianti Classico. Impressive CV. His legacy changed the way that Church and State were to integrate (or not) in Italy, the inclusivity of different regional factions within the young Italian state, and the supremacy of Sangiovese as the key component in the red wines of Tuscany and Chianti in particular. His is the biggest and most elaborate of the coffins in the crypt.
The estate is now 1,200 hectares in total, with much land under forest and other crop farming, allowing the vineyards to be properly protected and produce outstanding grapes in poor soils. The composition of the estate allows for history to be reflected and respected too - hard for them to avoid with a tradition such as theirs - wild boar, olive oil, wines from dried grapes and hunting all still part of the wonderful fabric that will, not too long away, be 1,000 years old.
- Chianti Classico
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