A recent list created by “The Enthusiast 100,” which is a famous magazine created by the American Wine Enthusiast that is dedicated towards selecting the best vintages in the world for its readership to sample, has chosen San Felice’s Chianti Classico Gran Selezione as the best wines of 2015
The wine, which has also received plaudits in a number of Italian publications, is just the latest in a range of Chianti Classicos to achieve such recognition over the years, cementing the drinks popularity on both the domestic and international stages as a result. This year it is the Il Grigio 2011 vintage created by the San Felice estate that has received the honour, which is based on the quality of the wine, the value for money that it represents to the consumer, the buzz that it has generated within the wine community and how available it is on the current market. All of this also ties into the interest that it has generated from the public, creating a formula that is used to select the greatest wines in the world.
Kerin O’ Keefe spoke about the decision made by the magazine, stating “2015 was an outstanding year for Italian wines in the Wine Enthusiast. This is the first time an Italian wine has taken the top spot in the “Top 100 Best Buys” and second place in “Top Cellar Selections”. Now, San Felice Il Grigio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2011 is number 1 in the “Enthusiast 100”. I am very proud and happy that out of almost 20,000 reviews this year in Wine Enthusiast (about 3,000 for Italy), Italian wines have displayed their class, finesse and worth.”
Chairman of the Chianti Classico Consortium, Sergio Zingarelli, was delighted to hear of the news, adding “The Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico learned the news about The Enthusiast 100 with the greatest satisfaction. To be chosen as a symbol of excellence in the worldwide winemaking sector crowns our hard work and rewards the cohesive nature of our consortium, the brave and intelligent choices we have made together in recent years, starting with the creation of a new type of Chianti Classico, Gran Selezione, which is now attracting the spotlight of international press.”
The San Felice Estate
Agricola San Felice has long been recognised as an innovator in the world of Italian wine, with the company having a particular talent for identifying potential trends before they happen and adjusting their output in order to suit those trends. This occurs due to the fact that the company experiments and researches intensively in order to make the discoveries that they do in terms of the current market.
However, running through all of this innovation and experimentation is an adherence to the traditions and philosophies that have made the Italian wine industry, and this region in particular, so well-regarded over the years. As such, in addition to the various wines that it produces to aim to innovate and captivate in equal measure, San Felice also produces a number of wines that are firmly rooted in tradition, with their Chianti Classico being high on the agenda.
While their Classico has long been revered as being of exceptionally high quality, with this latest accolade simply being another that the winery can add to its long list, the company was also instrumental in the Super Tuscan era. The creation of Vigorello on the late 1960s preceded Tignanello by a number of years and is often recognised as being the forerunner to the Super Tuscans that would come just a short time later and revolutionise the Italian wine industry.
They followed this innovation up with the creation of Poggio Rosso in the 1970s, which veered away from the revolution created by the Super Tuscans, instead focusing on the classic methods to create a rare example of a Chainti Classico cru. These two wines serve to demonstrate the commitments of San Felice more than any marketing talk could. On one hand you have a wine that innovated to the point where some believe that it helped spark an entirely new era in Italian wine, while on the other you have a wine that sticks to the great traditions of Chianti and was all the more respected because of it.
The company is also notable for its program of rediscovery when it comes to indigenous grapes that it could blend with Sangiovese in order to craft entirely new wines. In an era when many of its competitors and contemporaries were moving on to international grape varieties in order to craft new blends and supplement the indigenous grapes that they already used, San Felice was carrying out an intensive program of research in the 1980s to discover grapes that were used in the region that have since fallen out of favour. This led to the creation of an experimental vineyard, named the Vitiarium, which embarked on a process of experimentation that saw these grapes brought back to life so that they could be blended with Sangiovese to see what the results were like.
This once again goes to show the company’s commitment to innovating and experimenting, with a culture of continued improvement running through the core of San Felice. However, it is important to note that each of these new discoveries and experiments are still rooted in a grand tradition, which the company adheres to through the creation of its Chianti Classico in addition to a range of other wines that have enchanted wine lovers throughout the world.
San Felice’s Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
So what makes this wine so special that it has been selected as the best in the world? In truth, it’s hard to really put a finger on it. Of course, the wine itself is of an exceptionally high quality, but so are many other wines from the region and the world at large. Simply put, the wine has that all-important ‘X-Factor’ that allows it to represent the best of what Chianti Classico has come to mean, allowing it to enchant and inspire in equal measure. There is no reason at all not to try this wine, so take the opportunity to celebrate the success of Chianti Classico.