One of the Best Chianti Classicos: 2015 Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli Gran Selezione Chianti Classico

What do you open on spaghetti and meatballs night? Or lasagna night? Chianti, right? Chianti is the enjoyable, no-brainer bottle for comforting, red sauce dishes. But, what do you open when enjoying a heartier Italian dish like Ossobuco or Tuscan beef stew? Chianti is the right answer here, too, but make it a Gran Selezione Chianti Classico.

We recommend the 2015 Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli Gran Selezione Chianti Classico, an incredible 96-point wine that’s a shining star of Chianti Classico.

Castello di Fonterutoli is a heritage site in the heart of Chianti Classico owned by the Mazzei family. You may have heard the Mazzei family story before when we offered other bottles of their quality wines. They trace their involvement in the Tuscan wine industry back to the 1300s. In fact, the first official document that mentioned Chianti wine in writing was written by Ser Lapo Mazzei in 1398, a relative who lived in the middle ages. In correspondence with a merchant, he gave the price of 6 barrels of “wine from Chianti” as “3 florins 26 pennies 8 dinars.” For 24 generations the Mazzei family has produced wine at Castello di Fonterutoli. 

For this Gran Selezione, they source grapes from 120 single vineyards at an altitude of over 300 meters. In those vineyards are 26 biotypes of Sangiovese, 18 of which are exclusive to Fonterutoli.  Each vineyard’s grapes are fermented individually. They then choose the 50 best to blend for this wine that, as Wine Advocate puts it, “shows the sharpness and detail that wine is supposed to evoke in the best vintages.” Vinous reports that 2015 was “a very strong, and, in some cases, profound, vintage for Chianti Classico.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the difference between Chianti Classico and Gran Selezione Chianti Classico, here are the basics. Wines with the Gran Selezione designation—which was first allowed in 2014—must be made with 100% estate fruit and age at least 30 months in barrel. Chianti Classico needs just one year in barrel and does not need to be all estate fruit. There are some other minor differences, but the Gran Selezione designation indicates wines of superior quality from the region. 

James Suckling, when he gave his thumbs up to the wine with 96 points, says the wine has “beautiful blue fruit that comes to the surface, particularly in the long finish.” And, with its 94 points, Wine Advocate exclaims, “You really taste those authentic Sangiovese flavors of wild cherry, forest berry, blue flower, and crushed rock.”Considering the critical acclaim and the superior quality of this Chianti

Classico Gran Selezione, you might be expecting to see a hefty price on this wine. Good news. BHW’s generous discount that’s over 40% brings this wine well under $50.We bet you’re reaching for your favorite Tuscan stew recipe already!

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