Review: Wines of San Felice – 2017 Bell’aja and 2018 Vigorello
In the heart of Chianti Classico you’ll find San Felice, home of the first Supertuscan ever made in Chianti Classico, Vigorello. (The wine celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.) San Felice doesn’t just make Chianti, though, it also has 23 hectares in Montalcino and 16 in Bolgheri, and it produces wines from all three regions. Today we look at two of them, a Bolgheri bottling and the latest Vigorello.
2017 San Felice Bell’aja Bolgheri Superiore DOC – 95% merlot, 5% cabernet sauvignon. A bit tough on first blush, this wine doesn’t initially strike the palate as a predominantly merlot wine, coming across with some gumminess and a punch of overripe blackberry. Notes of coconut and some woody notes don’t really complement the fruitier attack, though time in glass helps this wine approach at least some level of awkward balance. B / $58
2018 San Felice Vigorello Toscana IGT – 35% pugnitello, 30% merlot, 30% cabernet sauvignon, 5% petit verdot. This is a delight from the start, immersive notes of cherry, currants, ruddy spices, all combining to make for a rich and surprisingly cohesive experience. The lush fruit finds a friendly companion in a touch of sweetness, ample tannins, and some dark chocolate on the back end. It’s a powerhouse of a wine that works best with a bold meal to back it up, but ambitious drinkers may find this approachable on its own. A- / $65
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