Chianti often gets ignored in the short list of great Italian wines.  Especially with Brunello di Montalcino sitting nearby.  But there is something inherent to the best Chianti’s that really speaks to a real sense of Italianess.  The wines of Felsina have always embodied that to me.  I am not sure if anyone else out there really knows what I am talking about, but when I taste a classic Chianti, or classic Brunello or Barolo or Taurasi, I can often taste Italy.  It’s what I like to call Italianess.  I cannot necessarily put it into words; it is a feeling which involves all the senses and is really beyond description.  If you have not experienced Italianess, you will typically find it in the wines of Felsina.  In my book they are the shining star of Chianti Classico with a great range of wines from the solid Chianti Classico, to the Riserva, the ever special Rancia, and the Chianti Classico/Chianti Colli Senesi blend Fontalloro.  And while reaching back to 1995 at $50 bucks a pop may not be an option, their current releases remain excellent value with the standard Chianti Classico coming in at well under $20 and the Riserva typically under $25.

Fattoria di Felsina – Berardegna 1995 Chianti Classico Riserva ~$50.00

Classic aged Chainti Classico from the best of the best.  Tart dark fruits, tree bark, graphite, smoke, earth, and liquorish all come into play at various moments with the 1995 Felsina Riserva.  There is acidity and tannins still to boot.  If I could fault one thing, the tannins are a touch dry, but that seems to be the case with most great traditionally made Chianti.  Proof that Chianti, in the hands of someone as great as Felsina, can age very nicely.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED