San Marcellino Gran Selezione Vertical

The main takeaway from this tasting was how well the wines age. In a global context, Chianti Classico remains a largely undiscovered region. Despite a relatively short track record, Rocca di Montegrossi is one of its brightest stars”.
ANTONIO GALLONI, At a vertical tasting 1995-2013 of the San Marcellino wines.

I have been selling the wines of Rocca di Montegrossi since 2009. Since that time Chianti Classico has enjoyed something of a golden age after the framework to improve the wines of the region set in 2000 began to take hold. Sweeping changes in the regulations governing production of the wine and a more sophisticated mapping of the region to take account of the many varied terroirs have turned Chianti Classico into a fine wine region that offers incredible value for money. 

Rocca di Montegrossi is owned by the Ricasoli family, who have a rich history in the region and are one of Italy’s  oldest dynasties, producing feudal lords, scholars, prime ministers and of course, winemakers. Their flagship wine San Marcellino comes from a small vineyard where the original recipe for Chianti was conceived. It is one of Italy’s most well known and collectible wines, known for its concentration, complexity and extraordinarily long drinking windows.

The Chianti wines of Gaiole tend to be the richest and most concentrated of the region. San Marcellino is a case in point, but the height of the vineyard and the magnificent skill shown in the winemaking means that there is a wonderful freshness and elegance imbued to the wines. With at least 2 years in oak and 2 years in bottle before release, they see more maturation even than Brunello. There is a dollop of Pugnitello added to the blend, a super-rare indigenous variety nearly exclusive to the vineyard. These are jaw-droppers and the equal of any top cuvee in the region.

We have gotten our hands on a vertical of vintages from 2006 to 2011. All of the wines are in their window now but will remain there until 2030 and in some cases, far beyond. This is a terrific cellaring opportunity. We are offering a super price of €49 per bottle across the full range. Interestingly there is evolution within the vertical: San Marcellino became certified organic in 2010 after a 3 year process, and it also became one of the first Gran Seleziones of the region; the newest and highest quality designation in Chianti. We have included Antonio Galloni’s absolutely rave  reviews from the aforementioned tasting he attended, please contact if you have any queries. Rory

Rocca di Montegrossi Vigneto San Marcellino 2006     
(DRINK 2020-2035)
The 2006 Chianti Classico Vigneto San Marcellino is dark, powerful and savory. Graphite, smoke, licorice, plum, leather and dark stone fruit gives the wine much of its virile, imposing personality. The tannins remain quite youthful and potent, all of which give the wine its decidedly brooding personality. The 2006 can be enjoyed now, but it needs a lot of air. I would prefer to cellar it for at least a few years though. This is the first vintage with Pugnitello in the blend.

Rocca di Montegrossi Vigneto San Marcellino 2007     
(DRINK 2018-2032)
A ripe, exotic wine, the 2007 Chianti Classico Vigneto San Marcellino is a total turn on. Full-bodied, opulent and utterly hedonistic, the San Marcellino also retains considerable freshness for its age and the year. Moreover, it has developed exquisitely since I last tasted it. The 2007 is a sensual wine with voluptuous curves and tremendous allure, all of which make it impossible to resist. And why would you want to?

Rocca di Montegrossi Vigneto San Marcellino 2008    
94 POINTS (DRINK 2018-2033)
The 2008 Chianti Classico Vigneto San Marcellino is the first wine in this vertical that is starting to enter the early part of its plateau of maturity. The tannins have begun to soften while the aromatics are especially open. Hints of game, smoke, tobacco and licorice shape the expressive finish. Rain in September and October elevated disease pressure and complicated the harvest. Production was just one-third of normal. Readers can look forward to another 10-15 years of fine drinking. 

Rocca di Montegrossi Vigneto San Marcellino 2009    
95+ POINTS (DRINK 2019-2034)
Tar, licorice, incense and smoke all burst from the glass in the 2009 Vigneto San Marcellino. A rich, layered wine, the 2009 boasts stunning depth and power from start to finish. I visited the property in 2009 just before the harvest and can attest to the quality of this fruit right off the vine. The 2009 is decidedly dark and brooding. Readers who can cellar the wine for at least a few years will be in for a real treat once it awakens. In 2009, the Vigna San Marcellino is 95% Sangiovese and 5% Pugnitello.

Rocca di Montegrossi Gran Selezione San Marcellino 2010     
(DRINK 2018-2035)
The 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto San Marcellino is a real head turner. Freshly cut flowers, mint, pomegranate and bright, red-toned fruit give the 2010 a distinctive translucent feel. Classically austere, potent and vibrant in the glass, the San Marcellino is a tremendous example of the level the best wines reached in this fabulous Tuscan vintage. Readers will have to be patient with the 2010. The rewards for that patience will be considerable. The 2010 has really come along in the last few years.

Rocca di Montegrossi Gran Selezione San Marcellino 2011    
95 POINTS (DRINK 2017-2032)
The 2011 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto San Marcellino is gorgeous. Silky, racy and unctuous, the 2011 captures all the natural richness of the year. The 2011 is a broad, ample wine, with silky, creamy tannins and exceptional polish. All the elements fall into place effortlessly. This is an exceptional wine, especially within the context of the unrelentingly hot, dry growing conditions.