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.