A Trio Of Tuscan Reds
Young, Old, And Off The Beaten Path
by Tom Wolf
From the family’s benchmark Brunello to this Toscana rosso, everything Sesti produces is top-class. For this bottling, the reason why is very simple. Elisa Sesti uses grapes from her very special Brunello di Montalcino vineyards and declassifies them to make one of the most charming introductions to Sangiovese imaginable. Turning to her younger vines and decreasing the amount of aging time—one year—in her imposing thirty-hectoliter botti, Elisa produces a Tuscan red brimming with bright brambly fruit with a touch of mint and leather.
Tuscan Pinot Noir—or Pinot Nero, as it’s called there—has no right to be this good, but Federico Staderini is an uncommon vignaiolo. Having taken years of experience as the enologist of one of Brunello’s most illustrious estates and combined them with a historically minded quest to replant vineyard land in eastern Tuscany that had been beloved by the Etruscans, Federico found a sliver of the region ideally suited to this chameleon grape. Fresh, complex, and extroverted, his gorgeous rendition is proof of his experiment’s resounding success.
It’s a treat to taste a sublime Chianti Classico with nearly a decade of age. Sangiovese that has been farmed with as much devotion as it receives at Castagnoli only gets more perfect over time. Some of the bright fruit has faded a little, but more nuanced, floral, and sanguine notes have emerged in the forefront, making this a dream bottling to open the next time you pan-sear a ribeye or roast a chicken.