Villa Vignamaggio, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione (Tuscany, Italy) “Monna Lisa” 2017

($55, Montcalm Wine Importers):  Gran Selezione is a relatively new quality category, aiming to represent the pinnacle of a producer’s Chianti Classico production.  This gorgeous wine certainly achieves that distinction.  It’s all the more impressive considering Villa Vignamaggio managed to produce such a stellar wine in 2017, a difficult year for Chianti Classico.  It reveals its charms over time with each sip — a hint of dark, almost bitter, cherry-like fruit, subtle smoky nuances, discreet mineral qualities.  Its freshness and verve, often lacking in many 2017s because of the hot dry growing season, is testimony to the winemaking.  The refined tannins help create a silky texture, so much so that you could enjoy this impressive wine now, though its balance and grace suggest a fine evolution over the next decade, so I’d put some away in the cellar.  Most wines with this refinement and quality cost substantially more.
96 Michael Apstein Aug 24, 2021