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Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and IGT in Tuscany from Agricola San Felice

Agricola San Felice is a winery located in the southernmost part of Tuscany. It makes a variety of wines in various Tuscan appellations, DOC, DOCG and IGT in Chianti, Montalcino and the Maremma. When San Felice’s winemaker Leonardo Bellaccini came to Sweden BKWine’s Peter Dybeck met him for a tasting of a selection of their numerous wines.

The winemaker at Agricola San Felice, Leonardo Bellaccini, came to Sweden and I met him over a lunch and tasting with a presentation of the wines and vintages.

We begin with Campogiovanni Rosso di Montalcino 2012 (~13 euro). Grapes from younger vines in San Felice’s three Montalcino vineyards give a nice wine with stylish red fruit, nicely balanced acidity, quite nice tannins and a hint of the tobacco tone often found in Brunello. Very good and well-balanced in somewhat lighter, very versatile style. Recommended!

Campogiovanni Rosso di Montalcino San Felice

Campogiovanni Rosso di Montalcino San Felice, copyright P Dybeck

Leonardo explains about San Felice’s vineyards in Chianti. They cover about 100 ha where they have 231 different grape varieties. They put a lot of effort into managing the old indigenous grape varieties, although sangiovese naturally dominates. We get two glasses of Chianti.

Leonardo Bellaccini, San Felice's winemaker

Leonardo Bellaccini, San Felice’s winemaker, copyright P Dybeck

Chianti Classico Riserva il Grigio 2010 (~20 euro), made from about 80% sangiovese and 20% from old varieties like abrusco, pugnitello and others. Il Grigio is a relatively well-known brand of Chianti worldwide. San Felice makes a total of about 1.5 million bottles of Chianti. The wine is clearly darker than the initial rosso and has a very different grip in the tannin. Delicious, potent and well-structured, but for lunch today I prefer the rosso.

In the next glass is Gran Selezione 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva (not available in Sweden). This wine is a selection from the “standard” reserva, but also has some other grapes and longer aging in barrel. It has everything that the “standard” reserva has. But I feel that it is much cleaner and more elegant. Tastes very good! These wines are served with a “foie gras burger” (duck liver slices, white onions, mushrooms, port wine, soy sauce) and it works quite excellent together.

Leonardo then tells more about the grape and the wine called pugnitello, poured in the next couple of glasses along with a bordeaux blend.

2010 Vigorello Rosso Toscana IGT (~33 euro)

A Bordeaux blend, 45-50% each of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, and a little bit of petit verdot. The first super tuscans. 1968 was the first vintage. The 2010 vintage tastes good, even if it is a bit closed today the potential is clear. I would happily drink this wine around 2020 after ten years of aging from harvest.

The second glass contains 2008 Pugnitello IGT Toscana (~35 euro). It is more open with a relatively developed and complex nose, dark red fruits, flower petals, spices. Dense and rich flavour with fine structure and beginning to mature. Tastes very good to the second course: a somewhat shapeless but very tasty tartar of chanterelles, beef heart, beef marrow, juniper berries and soy sauce.

The very amiable Leonardo tells me about San Felice’s estate in Montalcino, Campogiovanni, and its history. He has worked at San Felice for nearly 30 years and he seems to like it!

There will be two wines in the next flight.

2008 Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008 (~33 euro).

A selection from the winery’s three vineyards that yielded a fine expression of Brunello with good red fruit, tobacco and a nice spicy complexity. Will taste probably even better in a few years’ time. Can be aged until at least 2025 in good conditions. The problem is the next glass, that is where the vineyard-designated Brunello is.

Campogiovanni Il Quercione Brunello di Montalcino San Felice

Campogiovanni Il Quercione Brunello di Montalcino San Felice, copyright P Dybeck

Il Quercione Brunello Riserva 2006 (~75 euro), which without much doubt is the wine of the day with truly beautiful fruit, great length and complexity and perfect balance. The “standard” brunello is not at all bad, on the contrary, an excellent wine. It is just that Il Quercione stands several steps ahead today. We also get to enjoy a perfectly cooked lamb served with eggplant, sesame, tomatoes and black garlic. It tasted just fine together, as that famous Italian sports cap!

Overall, I think that all the wines of San Felice are worth getting closer acquaintanced with, especially the Pugnitello and Il Quercione that were my favourites at this delicious and very nice lunch at the Nook restaurant in Stockholm!

Peter Dybeck is an “amateur” wine lover who writes about tastings on BKWine Magazine and on his own wine blog Vintresserad.

There are many exciting things to discover in Tuscany. Wine producers, beautiful landscapes, delicious wines, gourmet food, all this you get on a wine tour to Tuscany with BKWine .

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A small selection of San Felice wines

A small selection of San Felice wines, copyright P Dybeck

This post is also available in: Swedish

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