Coltassala, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG – 2004
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 — I.G.T. (Indicazione Geografica Tipica).
The Coltassala vineyard shares its name and location with the villa that houses Castello di Volpaia’s vinegar-making equipment. This vineyard faces both southwest and southeast, with two parcels spanning up two opposing hillsides that are separated by a seasonal creek. It was grafted over from various clones of Sangiovese to newer Sangiovese clones in 1977 (when the vineyard was 10 years old). When grafting the Coltassala, Volpaia selected the best Sangiovese clones available and increased the vineyard density to 2,306 vines/acre. The first harvest was in 1980 when Castello di Volpaia made their first Super-Tuscan from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Mammolo. The Chianti Classico appellation followed suit, closing the quality gap between Chianti Classico and Super-Tuscans. Now Coltassala is a Chianti Classico Riserva D.O.C.G. cru even though it’s the same Super-Tuscan wine of the 1980s.
- Cultivation: Certified organic
- Composition: Sangiovese (primarily), Mammolo
- Size: 8.72 acres
- Vine Age: Average of 20-25 years old. Ongoing replanting since the 1980s.
- Soil: Light; sandstone
- Elevation: 1,700 feet
- Exposure: South
- Density: 2,306 vines/acre
- Training: Guyot
April and May temperatures were below average, delaying budbreak. Fortunately May was also rainy, allowing the vines to build up reserves of water for the warm summer months. It became apparent early in the season that yields would be very high in 2004, and Volpaia worked hard in the vineyards to ensure that the vines stayed healthy and well-balanced. Excellent September temperatures meant that the grapes kept their aromas. Despite rain just before harvest, all the grapes were very healthy when they arrived in the cellars.
- Harvest Date(s): October 5-10
- Barrel Aging: 18 months in new French oak from Séguin Moreau
- Bottled: December 27, 2006
- Varietal Composition: 95% Sangiovese, 5% Mammolo
- Production (in cases): 1,000 cases
- Production Case Pack: 6/750ml
- Cases Imported: 500 cases
- Alcohol: 13.0%
- TA: 5.2 g/L
- RS: 1.8 g/L
The Coltassala has a vivid ruby color. This is a well-structured, complex wine with an elegant nose and hints of vanilla, cacao and fruit.
Coltassala, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG – 2004 – 94 points – Wine & Spirits
“The wine feels shy when first poured, gradually revealing scents of dried roses and rosemary along with dark, plummy fruit...it becomes more floral, the strong tannins providing firm structure and savory length. Completely satisfying....”
Coltassala, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG – 2004 – 92 points – Wine Spectator
“Shows gorgeous aromas of plum and fresh mushroom, with just a hint of blackberry. Full-bodied, very silky and long, with beautiful texture. Hard to resist now. Best after 2008.”
Coltassala, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG – 2004 – 90 points – The Wine Advocate
“...deeply aromatic nose and smoke, tobacco, toasted oak and vibrant sweet dark fruit on a medium-bodied frame. It offers excellent length and a lingering note of sweetness from the oak on the finish....”