2016 San Felice Vigorello Toscana IGT Tuscany, Italy
Agricola San Felice is steeped in local lore and history. Named after a local early Christian Saint from the 18th century, the property was bought by the Grisaldi Del Taja family who produced wine at the property for several centuries and were founding members of the Chianti Classico consortium. In 1968 the estate passed into the hands of the late Enzo Morganti. Before assuming control over the estate in 1968, Enzo Morganti established a reputation as a Tuscan wine pioneer having spent two decades researching and experimenting with Sangiovese clones at Tenuta di Lilliano. At San Felice, he restructured and transformed this venerable estate, concentrating on high quality winemaking, systematic scientific research and thoughtful vineyard purchases, which included the Campogiovanni vineyard in Montalcino in 1984. Today the property includes a 1,853 acre resort, 445 acres of vineyards and a 44 acre parcel dedicated to experimental viticulture and genetic improvement of Sangiovese, The San Felice vineyards are situated in the gently rolling hills of the Castelnuovo Berardenga area of Chianti Classico, where the vines are planted in two different soil types: calcareous clay and a combination of sand and lime. The terroir of Campogiovanni, including its sandy, mineral-rich argillous soil, allows Sangiovese vines to grow slowly and steadily, therefore producing unusually complete and balanced grapes. In addition to indigenous varietals like Toscana’s classic Sangiovese, San Felice has plantings of international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Like Enzo, winemaker Leonardo Bellacini is a Sangiovesist and carries on the legacy of tradition and research and experimentation.
Made for the first time in 1968, Vigorello was the first of a new generation of Tuscan wines that subsequently became the famous Supertuscans. Its blend is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pugnitello, an ancient native grape revived by San Felice, with a small addition of Petit Verdot. It matures some 20 months in French oak barriques and then 8-10 months in the bottle.
2018 has began with an early sprouting due to high temperatures in March and April, followed by a fairly rainy May. Temperatures have started to rise again since June; summer temperatures in the norm with scattered rains. The month of September in particular saw a succession of sunny days but with a great thermal excursion between day and night, which allowed the grapes a proper phenolic and aromatic maturation
Rated 94 Points, Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate
This is a historic Tuscan wine, with the first vintage produced in 1968. The San Felice 2016 Vigorello is a blend of the Tuscan indigenous grape Pugnitello, with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. It offers depth, intensity and a profound level of dark fruit with blackberry, plum, spice, earth and campfire ash. Robust and softly textured, it has the length and power to pair with a juicy leg of lamb with white beans and rosemary potatoes.
Rated 94 Points, James Suckling
A fresh and clean wine with a very intense structure and density. Linear and bright finish. Shows such a condensed structure and finish. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pugnitello and petit verdot.