2018 Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio 'Casalferro' Toscana IGT Tuscany Italy
The Ricasoli family, whose history dates back to the 7th century, is one of the oldest families in Italy. Barone Ricasoli is the oldest wine estate in Italy, following the acquisition of Château Brolio by the Ricasoli family in 1141.
Aware of this estate’s great potential, the Ricasoli family undertook major work to reorganise the vineyards and modernise the viticultural practices, with the ambition of producing fine Tuscan wines from the Brolio terroir. The estate's wines were then exported abroad and recognised for their quality, particularly in 1867 when Brolio's wines won the first gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris.
In 1872 and following years of research and experimentation, Bettino Ricasoli created the "formula" for making Chianti, now known as Chianti Classico.
Comprising a surface area of 1,200 hectares, of which 240 hectares are vineyards, the Barone Ricasoli vineyard is the largest in the Chianti winegrowing area.
First marketed in 1993 when Francesco Ricasoli became president of the company, the Casalferro vintage is a 100% Merlot produced during exceptional winemaking years. This 2018 Casalferro by Barone Ricasoli is made from a rigorous selection of grapes from three different vineyards (Vigna Casalferro, Vigna Pecchierino and Vigna Sodacci). The vineyards are between 19 and 28 years old and range from 3.25 to 5 hectares. They are located at an altitude of 400 to 500 metres and rest on a patchwork of soils made up of sand, pebbles and limestone with various sun exposures.
The year 2018 was marked by higher humidity than in previous years and a hot, dry summer.
Vinification and ageing
Manual harvesting. Alcoholic fermentation followed by a maceration of 14 to 18 days. The wine is aged for 21 months in barrels (30% of which are new, 70% first and second-fill barrels).
Rated 92 Points Vinous, Antonio Galloni on June 2022
The 2018 Casalferro, Brolio's (Merlot) is a powerful, brooding wine packed with dark-fleshed fruit, espresso, dried herbs menthol, licorice, incense and cloves. This juicy, flavorful red delivers plenty of impact, that much is pretty clear.