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Chianti Classico, Volpaia 2016

Has anyone had this wine (or a previous vintage)? And more specifically, can anyone compare it to the Fontodi?

I’m not familiar with it but I missed out on Fontodi 16 due to it being sold in 12s so I couldn’t put 6 in reserves. I’m having the same problem with the Muga Reserva 16 and am pondering mixing 6 and 6. If only they were both available at the same time (or maybe they were, in which case if only I’d thought of it while the Fontodi was still available!)

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If you would like a little more information on the wine and Volpaia, we had a great session with Fede of the family and many of our Members on Zoom a couple of days ago - the recording of which can be seen here.

If anyone would like to be involved in future winemaker Zooms, they programme is available here. And there are going to be LOTS more added for Wine Champions so keep your eyes peeled.

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I have a bottle and was thinking of trying it this weekend, to see if I should buy more. I imagine it’ll be more trad chianti in style than the quite rich fontodi CC but will happily report in due course. I had a bottle of 2016 fontodi last weekend so can compare reasonably confidently.

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I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts!

@tom it’s not clear if you watched the zoom meeting with the winery, but you should, very interesting. I asked a question specifically on the 2016&17 which are listed. The answer was detailed and interesting.

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I haven’t but I shall!

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Try at around 42 minutes for my question, sorry about the Essex accent :grin:

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I have the 2015 Castillo di Volpaia with a drinking windo that doesn’t start Til next year

Is that the riserva/gran selezione?


It is this one, part of a VCP allocation a few years ago
£14.95/bt

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Drink dates for 2015 and 2016 - how does that work? Is the explanation buried in the zoom?

Would be great if TWS added a date stamp to drink dates or showed how they evolved as wines are retasted (assuming that ever happens…)

Great thanks for posting this, just finished watching and learnt a lot! Looking forward to the Christmas Fine Wine list now!

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Hmm - that’s odd. It’s their normal CC but 2015 was quite a forward year, generally, and you wouldn’t expect a £15 chianti to have the structure to need 6 years. Some 2015 CCs you’d expect to be bigger were approachable last year.

Also, the 2016s generally need longer than the 2015s.

Add to that the fact that TWS windows generally start a little early, if anything.

Channelling my imaginary Sherlock, I deduce that the drinking dates may be wrong. Worth checking?

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Really good video - thanks for highlighting it! I thought she came across well and there was a lot of interesting stuff. Good question, too, as the chianti vintners seem a little defensive about 2017.

Just got around to watching this. Was another lovely (and lively) winemaker session. Thanks for the question, I’m sure it reverberated with all the members looking at both these wines.

Her answer was great and echoed another winemaker Zoom chat (was it Mac Forbes?) about the more challenging vintages and how sometimes they can result in more interesting wines. Certainly allows the quality of place and winemaker to shine through

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I’m only catching up now on the YouTube video but I’ve visited Volpaia twice and confirm it’s a magical place. Because I was on wine tours we had the joy of meeting and dining with Federica’s mum, the iconic Giovanella, who’s just the most amazing woman. In autumn/winter it can be a bit cold there - it’s quite high up and feels isolated - but in spring/summer it’s absolutely gorgeous and has a restaurant and accommodation within the village.

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Just looked on L&W and they have the drinking window for the 2015 starting in 2018 which sounds more like it.

I drank my 2016 Volpaia over the weekend, as planned, and am ready to report back.

Positives: it’s well balanced with all the typical chianti attributes. Some tasty fruit, that subtle tart edge and not at all heavy. Good with food, as you’d expect.

It also lasted well in the bottle and was, if anything, better after 24 hours. It certainly needs a few hours to open up, as a minimum.

But how does it compare with some of the alternatives? For me, it’s some way off Fontodi but that’s fair enough. Fontodi’s CC is bigger, richer and more complex than any other CC at that price point, in my view. It’s also not up there with Isole e Olena (which is probably the one to get if you like a graceful, floral style of chianti) or Riecine. I’m also not convinced it is better than San Felice.

So here’s the rub: Volpaia is £15.50 in 2016. Fontodi was £19; Isole was £20; Riecine was £17 or £18 and San Felice was like robbing someone, at £12 or £13 a bottle, from memory. The extra £2-4 for which you can get those shiny CCs feels like it makes quite a difference…

That said, I definitely enjoyed the Volpaia and if I wasn’t already stocked up on CC and saving my pennies for the 2016 gran selezione wines and the 2016 brunello, I’d probably get some more.

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