It was so nice to have a quick catch-up lunch last week with Emanuela Stucchi Prinetti of Tuscany's four-generations-strong Badia a Coltibuono winery and vineyards. We'd first met when she participated in our 2015 edition of Top Drop Vancouver, and I've been smitten with her family's wines ever since.
While we tasted through a bunch of her latest releases, the one that made time stand still for me was Badia a Coltibuono's 2011 Cultus Boni Chianti Classico Riserva D.O.C.G. It starts off with 80% Sangiovese, which I should mention isn't limited to one clone. Stucchi Prinetti enjoys the mix of clones growing on the family's organic vineyards, as she feels they offer a better expression of the estate's biodiversity. Beyond the Sangiovese, there's a whole flock of indigenous varieties like Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Canaiolo, Mammolo, Fogliatonda, Malvasia Nera, Sanforte and Pugnitello, some so rare they were salvaged from the odd property around the area, where they'd been growing wild and un-checked for decades. These varieties are obviously right at home in the sunny region's clay and limestone soils.
Those few years of age on the wine serve it well; BOY - is it ever hittin' its stride. They do things authentically at Coltibuono, so we're indeed talking hand-picked fruit, wild-yeast ferments and so on. After a couple years in an array of casks and French barrique, the wine is then ready to step out into the world.
This particular edition is well-built with sticky black fruit, a good dose of fennel (both bulb and frond), dusty cocoa, and just a pinch of pepper on the finish. Fascinating, swoon-worthy stuff.
Here in Vancouver, it's imported by Waldorf Wine and $53 at BC Liquor Stores; beyond our borders - you can track it down on Wine Searcher right here...