2015 Felsina "Rancia" Chianti Classico Riserva (Elsewhere $54)

SKU #1344777 94-97 points Vinous

 The 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is one of the most finessed young Rancias I have ever tasted. Silky, aromatically precise and nuanced to the core, the 2015 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. This is an impressive showing. (AG)  (1/2018)

94 points Decanter

 Produced since 1983, Rancia hails from a 9ha vineyard sitting at 418 metres above sea level. It's a massal selection where the old vines provide material for newer plantings. Aged in French barriques (50% new), this leads with subtle vanilla aromas before wild forest berries and violets take over. This is very polished and silky in texture, although the tannins build stealthily and an underlying iron nuance adds intrigue. The finish lingers, promising much more to come. Highly satisfying. Drinking Window 2019 - 2031 (MM)  (2/2018)

94 points Wine Spectator

 The fine cherry, plum, leather and spice flavors pick up accents of chocolate, earth and mineral as this red gathers steam. Builds to a firmly structured finish, where sweet fruit and dusty tannins linger. (BS)  (8/2018)

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Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
I’ve come to the conclusion that 2015 was truly a sensational year at Felsina, each wine from this vintage I’ve had has been if not the best of its level at least as good as the previous best. The 2015 Rancia however is the best version that I’ve ever had, and I’ve had them all. This wine is still in its infancy, yet you can already tell this is something truly special. The nose is full of violets and lilacs with hints of savory herbs and mineral elements. On the palate the tannins are polished but only evident to give the wine a framework without intruding. The flavors are bold, layers of spiced plum; dried violets, porcini and Tuscan brush meld into an extraordinary flavor. Long, persistent and just a baby this wine is destined for greatness and a long, long life but it is exceptionally well balanced so you can drink it now. Bistecca Fiorentina comes to mind when I think of this wine.
Drink from 2018 to 2045

Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
I am crazy about this great 2015 Chianti! If you are looking for a special occasion sangiovese, I would strongly recommend that you widen your scope from Brunello to take a look at this Rancia. This is dry, concentrated, complex Tuscan wine with fabulous cherry power and earthy savor. It is kissed with some French oak that is very well integrated into the wine. I love that you can get all the power and flavor of Brunello here with a lot less alcohol... This is perfect for big juicy pork chops on the grill!
Drink from 2018 to 2030

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
This is an incredibly lively, energetic Rancia, certainly the freshest and most high toned I have tasted of the past few releases we have featured. Bright red fruited aromas also show well balanced spice notes, leading to a fresh palate that -while it is tempting now for your bisteca fiorentina or tagliatelle, sauasage and pecorino -will reward mid to long-term cellaring. A must have.

Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
Decidedly one for the ages. The superlative 2015 vintage delivers yet again. This wine is both massive and balanced. It's laden with ripe cherries and plums and still has verve and focus due to the great acid and tannin. The drive and length is spectacular. This is the best Rancia I've tasted over the last 5 years without a doubt.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2018 | Send Email
Classic Chianti combining dusty red fruits, spice, leather, thyme and earth. A wine with real focus and intensity; lovely structure and acidity. Begging for rich food, braised meats, strong cheeses etc. A baby, put this one away for 5-10 years to see its real potential.

Staff Image By: John Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/23/2018 | Send Email
Personally, I've long held that Felsina's Chianti Classico Riserva "Rancia" rarely, if ever, shows its stuffing on release. It normally needs a bit of cellaring to come together yet the 2015 is blessed with such ample richness that it's really sensational from the outset. It's smooth, silky and concentrated today but deceptive underlying structure is sure to emerge with age. Simply outstanding.

Staff Image By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/23/2018 | Send Email
Felsina Rancia from a great vintage is one of the best buys in the store at this kind of pricing and continues to be one of the absolute gems of the wine world. On the heels of the amazing, bestselling, and stunning 2013, the 2015 is carrying a some big press and a vintage that has many collectors excited. Thankfully, as always, 2015 Rancia delivers. A bit more compact than the 2013, it is a layered Chianti that shows a mix of deep red and black fruit, a bit of clove and sage, and a lengthy finish. An overtly ageworthy wine, I'd argue that it is also impossible to resist young with a few hours decant. Rancia remains one of the reference-point wines in Tuscany, and the 2015 speaks volumes as to why.

Staff Image By: Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/18/2018 | Send Email
This boasts a deep ruby/purple color, lots of black cherries, raspberries, and currants with hints spice, Tuscan dust and minerals. There is a great texture on this full- bodied wine; it has a long, authoritative finish that combines power with elegance. I would drink this over the next five to ten years.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Sangiovese

- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world.
Sub-Region:

Tuscany

Specific Appellation:

Chianti

- Chianti is the most famous wine name in Italy is not the name of a grape but actually a region. Chianti lies in the 35 miles of hills between Florence and Siena, a complex geological region as well as geographically. The extraordinary geography makes grape growing a very challenging feat with multiple exposures and soil types on the same estate. The region comprises 9 different communes not dissimilar to Bordeaux wherein each commune has a particular characteristic that shows in the wine. The wine is made predominantly Sangiovese, the grape must comprise at least 80% of the blend. Chianti Classico is the "classic" region, though many other nearby regions now use the name "Chianti" to make similar wines. The "Gallo Nero" or Black Rooster on many of the Chianti Classico bottles is a private consortium of producers who try and control the direction of production and quality amongst their members.