San Felice, Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione (Tuscany, Italy) “Poggio Rosso” 2016

($70, Vision Wine and Spirits):  Gran Selezione is a relatively new, not even a decade old, category of Chianti Classico.  It sits at the pinnacle of the region’s quality pyramid, which now has the three levels: annata or regular bottling, Riserva, and finally Gran Selezione.  To qualify for Gran Selezione, the grapes must all come from the estate, that is, not purchased, and the wine must be aged for 30 months before release, rather than the 24 months required for a Riserva.  In short, Gran Selezione is meant to be an estate’s top Chianti Classico.  San Felice, one of Chianti Classico’s top producers, is located in Castelnuovo Berardenga, a southern subzone near Siena.  The wines from that subzone tend to be riper and denser because of the warmer climate.  San Felice, however, manages to balance the power, imbuing this Chianti Classico Gran Selezione with a suave elegance and a long and uplifting finish.  Made entirely from Sangiovese and weighing in at a modest 13.5 percent stated alcohol, it is a marvelous expression of Chianti Classico and shows the heights that wines from that DOCG can reach.  Frankly, I would cellar it for a few more years to let even more earthy and savory components emerge.
95 Michael Apstein Mar 22, 2022