Castello di Volpaia

Tuscany, Italy

Balifico, Toscana IGT — 2018

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • The Balifico vineyard shares its name and location with a villa. The first Super-Tuscans were created in the 1970s by Chianti producers who rejected government mandates that determined which grapes were required to go into their wine, especially white grapes like Malvasia and Trebbiano. The Super-Tuscans were also treated differently from Chianti, aged in small French barriques rather than in large Slovenian casks. Because they did not follow DOC regulations, the Super-Tuscans were entitled only to the lowest official designation of the time — vino da tavola. It wasn’t until 1994 that the government recognized the high quality of the Super-Tuscans and gave the wine its own category — IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica).

    • Vineyards: Balifico (bawl-ee-FEE-co)
    • Composition: 65% Sangiovese, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Size: 12.4 total (7.66 Sangiovese; 4.74 Cabernet Sauvignon)
    • Vine Age: Average is 20-25 years old (ongoing planting since the 1980s)
    • Soil: Sandstone
    • Elevation: Sangiovese: 470 meters (1,542 feet); Cabernet Sauvignon: 450 meters (1,475 feet)
    • Exposure: South-southwest (Sangiovese); Southwest (Cabernet Sauvignon)
    • Density: Sangiovese: 5,435 vines/hectare (2,200 vines/acre); Cabernet Sauvignon: 5,698 vines/hectare (2,306 vines/acre)
    • Training: Sangiovese: Guyot; Cabernet Sauvignon: Cordon spur
  • Vintage Report

    • March was warm but the following months April and May were very cold and rainy. Good weather started from June 10th and the end of the month and beginning of July were very warm and dry. Intense warm from mid-July to end of August, interspersed with some rain that were able to guarantee the right humidity to the soil. In September and mid-October the weather was good but always with some scattered rain. Blooming was delayed of 10 days as well as flowering. In June vines started a sudden and vigorous development. Veraison began with some delay and continued  fairly slow. Harvest started a few days later compared to the previous years.

    • Harvest Date(s): Sangiovese: September 28; Cabernet Sauvignon: October 10
  • Vinification

    • Barrel Aging: 18 months in new French oak
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 65% Sangiovese, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Production Case Pack: 6/750ml
    • Alcohol: 14.5%
    • TA: 5.34 g/L
    • RS: 1.1 g/L
  • Tasting Notes

    • The Balifico has a vivid ruby color with a dark purple tinge. The nose is elegant, displaying aromas of blackberry and blueberry with hints of oak and cinnamon. This is a smooth wine with good structure and a long finish tasting of red fruit.



  • Castello di Volpaia Balifico, Toscana IGT — 2018 – Wine Spectator – 95 Points

    Alluring violet, black currant and black cherry fruit introduces this seductive red, with firm, pointed tannins and vivid acidity providing structure as this glides to a lingering, detailed finish.

  • Castello di Volpaia Balifico, Toscana IGT — 2018 – Vinous – 96 Points

    The 2018 Balifico, Volpaia's Sangiovese/ Cabernet Sauvignon blend, is fabulous. Rich and inky, the 2018 offers up a compelling mélange of dark berry fruit, dark spice, licorice and espresso. I especially admire the wine's textural richness. I imagine the 2018 will drink well for many, many years to come. In this tasting it is a total knock-out.