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It is a tradition, that I try to keep more every January of a new year. I go to my cellar and uncork a bottle that has reached its 10th birthday. It might sound like a silly tradition, but my drinking window is around 10 years. It is kind of fun, sort like a wine inspection. Get to see how some bottles are doing in their evolutionary stage and see if they are approaching maturity or not. Of course, there are some exceptions for certain wines in my collection. For instance, I am not popping yet my 2006  Brunellos or my 2005 Bordeaux. For 2017, I am going to try for every month of the year to open a 2007. This way, I keep a bit of the excitement factor.

For January, I decided to open a bottle of one of my favorites Chianti Classico estates, Felsina. This is one of the greates estates in Italy and among the elite in Chianti.It is an heritage estate. In fact, just the origins of the name come from ancient Etruscan times meaning ” a halting place, where hospitality was offered.

Back in 2011, in my last trip to Italy, I had a chance to visit the estate while vacationing in the Chianti Classico region  with my wife. What I really love about Felsina is their classy and austere style. So much different of so many overextracted and jammy chiantis. I picked up a pair of their Rancia Riserva 2007 along with their most expensive cuvee, Fontalloro.

Felsina underground cellar

The estate is at the southern limit of the Chianti Classico appellation, in fact, half the estate lies in the Chianti Colli Senesi appellation. 90 hectares of the 500 hectare estate are planted to vineyards, the rest are left for olive groves and hunting wild boar. The estate is farmed organically with some biodynamic principles as well.

The Rancia vineyard is in the Chianti Classico, in the commune of Catelnuovo Berardenga, north east of Siena. It is situated at 400 metres above sea level, facing south. Soils are quartzitic blue-grey sandstone with layers of sand and calcareous albarese with pebbles and galestro. The soil characteristics impart that cool and austere  characteristic of the Rancia wine.

Any serious Italian wine lover, will have some bottles of Rancia in their cellar. Is a classic with a friendly price that can age at least for 2 decades.The 2011 retails at the SAQ (  12625411) for $49.00. In the LCBO ( 82362) , it is more expensive at $69.95  However, most of the time, is is snatched pretty fast by seasoned Italian collectors.  I got mine in Italy because in Quebec, Canada, it was pretty difficult to find. Here are my tasting notes:

Terrific. Aromas of espresso beans, licorice, cocoa, cassis and plenty of red fruitIn addition, tamed leather with a delicious animal nuance. On the mouth, elegant, racy and well structured. Very good acidity that will allow the wine to age gracefully. Secondary notes of development such as dead leaves and porcini mushrooms. Fine, grainy tannins. Still a baby and can age for a good two decades.

Its a great wine to have with roasts, specially rib eye or wild game. It will also be fantastic with homemade sausages. Recently, I was talking with my aunt Emma in Italy and she was preparing liver sausages and a side dish of chicory with with white beans. This is one of my favorite dishes from my region of Abruzzo. Only, if i was there…

This is a fantastic winter dish. Have it with crusty bread and good olive oil. Yumm. The simplicity of Italian food.

I would love to have your comments. Do you have any 07’s that you will open this year?