Chianti Classico Gran Selezione: The Apex of Quality

Chianti Classico Gran Selezione: The Apex of Quality
Gran Selezione represents the highest quality within Chianti and Valiano is taking these rigorous standards to new heights with two single vineyard estate bottles.

Set in the scenic Chianti Classico hills of Castelnuovo Berardenga you’ll find the stunning estate of Fattoria di Valiano. The organically farmed 75 hectares of vines are managed by Valiano’s vigneron and winemaker, Pasquale Presutto, who pays close attention to every detail. The soul of the estate revolves around the production of Chianti Classico, to which two exclusive and specially dedicated vineyards are reserved for the Gran Selezione designation.

The New Pinnacle of Chianti Classico: Gran Selezione

Chianti Classico Gran Selezione: The Apex of Quality 1The primary ambition at Valiano is to enhance their unique terroir in Castelnuovo Berardenga. It is this focus that led the estate to release their first vintage of Gran Selezione Chianti Classico in 2014, with the goal of producing a wine that would rank above even the prestigious Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva. Enter: Valiano’s Chianti Classico Gran Selezione ‘6.38’ and Chianti Classico Gran Selezione ‘San Lazzaro.’

What sets Gran Selezione apart within the Chianti Classico suite of designates is a few more rigorous guidelines: The wine must age for at least 30 months prior to release, compared to twelve months for Chianti Classico and 24 months for Chianti Classico Riserva. It also has a slightly higher minimum alcohol content of 13%, with a minimum dry extract of 26 g/L. Perhaps most crucially for the category, all fruit in bottle must be estate grown, with a minimum of 80% Sangiovese. In order to emphasize the strong bond between the wine and its terroir, Valiano takes this final requirement further by bottling their Gran Selezione as two separate single-vineyard wines. In Valiano’s view, this approache expresses the singularity of two distinct vineyards with respect to soil makeup and exposure as well as the vineyard’s varietal composition.

It’s important to also mention that Valiano’s two single-vineyard bottlings of Gran Selezione Chianti Classico, “6.38” and “San Lazzaro,” both come from vineyards that have been farmed by strict organic guidelines since 2014, becoming fully certified starting with the 2018 vintage. With this strict approach to thoughtful viticulture and the embrace and overachievement of the designation’s winemaking decrees, these wines represent two segments of the estate while embracing the spirit of the Gran Selezione category, ultimately reflecting the characteristics and profile of their respective vineyards and estate as a whole.

The Vineyards

Chianti Classico Gran Selezione: The Apex of Quality 2Planted in 2018, the vineyards of “6.38” cover an area of ​​6.38 hectares, from which the wine takes its name. The plants enjoy a south-east exposure, at about 340 meters above sea level. The vineyards have their roots in a mainly clayey soil, enriched by a significant quantity of sandstone and fossil shells from old sea sediments. The deep, draining mantle makes this vineyard the perfect cradle for Sangiovese and for the French vines used, in small proportions, for the wine’s blend. Made only in the vineyard’s finest vintages, ‘6.38’ was first released for the 2010 vintage, followed by 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018.

For the “San Lazzaro,” the highest parcel of land in Valiano belongs to this wine: 2.40 hectares that reach 360 meters above sea level. The vineyard benefits from a south-west exposure and a calcareous clay soil, abundant in Galestro and Alberese, the two rocks par excellence of the Chianti Classico terroir. The veins of “San Lazzaro” flow with only Sangiovese, planted in 2006, and were vinified for the first time as a single vineyard wine in 2018, as that was the year the vines reached the right age to give the Gran Selezione its complexity.

THE WINES

Wine and Spirit Label 1

Chianti Classico Gran Selezione ‘6.38’, Valiano

  • This wine is named for the size of its vineyard: 6.38 hectares of vines that were planted in 1998
  • Made with organic grapes but not certified on the label 
  • 90% Sangiovese, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot 
  • The vineyard is at an altitude of 350m above sea level, with southwest exposure on clay, rocky, and well-draining soil 
  • Vines were planted in 1998 
  • Hand harvested 
  • Sangiovese ages for 18 months in 10-20hl French oak barrels, while the French varieties spend 18 months in barriques. The wine is aged 4 months in bottle prior to release 
  • 3,000 cases produced on average each year

Brilliant ruby colour with purple hues. Spicy notes such as ginger, orange zest, anise and a hint of vanilla are well integrated into a wealth of blackberries, cherries, dried rose and violet. A fresh, juicy palate dominated by dark cherries and framed by fine-grained tannins. Generous finish with a persistent and smooth aftertaste of black pepper, liquorice, black fruit flavours.


 

Wine and Spirit Label 2

Chianti Classico Gran Selezione ‘San Lazzaro’, Valiano

  • 100% Sangiovese
  • From a single vineyard at 360 meters above sea level
  • Vines planted in 2006
  • Clayey, rocky soil
  • Alcoholic fermentation-maceration last 15 days in stainless steel with temperature control
  • Malolactic fermentation happens in oak
  • Aged 18-20 months in French oak

It proudly shows a superb and deeply tinted ruby red colour, enriched by luscious purple hues. Its delicious fruity bouquet offers ripe and toasty aromas of blackberry, blueberry, and sweet plum, with a touch of cedar box. The full-bodied palate reveals its ripe character, balanced by fresh acidity. The firm Sangiovese tannic texture gives the wine an enchanting persistence, leading to a pleasant savoury note.


 

Wine and Spirit Label 3

Chianti Classico, Valiano 2018

  • Certified Organic  
  • 95% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot 
  • The vineyard altitudes vary from 200-300 meters above sea level with gently rolling hills, and a northeasterly exposure 
  • The soil is fragmented and rich in limestone, ensuring ideal drainage 
  • Hand-harvested before temperature-controlled maceration in stainless steel 
  • Fermentation followed by 9 months in large oak barrels 
  • 9,000 cases produced on average each year 

Wine and Spirit Label 4

Chianti Classico ‘Poggio Teo’, Valiano 2017

  • The hill in front of the winery in Castelnuovo Berardenga is known as ‘Poggio Teo’ and its the source for the grapes of this single vineyard expression. It’s the highest elevation at the estate, at over 400 meters above sea level, and the soil is sandy and rocky, offering substantial drainage; clay is interspersed throughout the soil, acting as water “reservoirs” for the roots of the vines 
  • Made with organic grapes, but not certified on the label 
  • 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot 
  • Significant diurnal shifts give this wine perfume and elegance 
  • The three sides of the vineyard are harvested and vinified separately 
  • The wine is aged for 15 months in oak barrels, and 3 months in bottle before release 
  • 3,500 cases produced on average each year 

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