2009 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva Coltassala
Expert Ratings
ST 92+ points
AG 92 points
(Read the full reviews below)
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Village of Volpaia Finest Volpaia Coltassala Riserva Since Historic 1985?

The 2009 growing season in Tuscany is already being lauded as one of the finest in decades, with many comparing it favorably to the monumental 1999. Even as importers line up en masse for the soon to be released '09 Brunellos, it was on the colder soils of Chianti Classico that the vintage's greatest bottles were made.

For the most part, the spring and summer were dry and mild, but during a 30-day stretch from the middle of July to mid-August, the sun baked the Tuscan hills. On the coast, and on Montalcino's warmer south side, growers had to be especially attentive, tailoring leaf canopies so as to shroud and protect clusters. But on the highest perch above Volpaia where one of Tuscany's most fabled Riservas is grown, the Sangiovese didn't miss a beat, making for what Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar believes to be the greatest Coltassala since the storied 1985.

The Sangiovese rows from which the 2009 Coltassala was drawn are set at 1450 feet above sea level. A cleansing wind blew throughout the summer months. While those July and August days were hot, the nights were cool, with a diurnal temperature shift of nearly 35 degrees. When Nature finally cooled her jets at the end of August, the daytime highs drifted back to the low 80s. Skies remained blue right up until the October harvest. Sugars were naturally high. Acids remained firm and vibrant.

If your Tuscan predilection is for soft, sweet Sangiovese, absent the tension and rustic cut of Montalcino, the 2009 Coltassala probably isn't for you. But if you're a collector of the most complex, age-worthy Tuscan wines, there are three 2009s you MUST buy and lay down -- Isole e Olena's Cepparello ($85), Fontodi's Flaccianello ($175), and Castello di Volpaia's magical Coltassala.

Darkest ruby to the edge with broad, brooding aromas of crushed black fruits, smoky black cherry, violets and new wood cedar. The attack is big, rich and powerful, a densely layered mix of blackberry and cherry, drizzled with kirsch. The finish is bold and firm, braced with rustic Tuscan tannins that really need 3-5 years in bottle to fully soften.

Antonio Galloni, the Italian wine guru and Robert Parker's hand-picked protege, called the 2009 Coltassala "a surprisingly huge, powerful wine," arguing that this monumental new release will reach full stride some time in 2024. He came in at 92 points. Tanzer upped the ante to 92+.

Tasting Notes

2009 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva Coltassala
"(95% sangiovese and 5% mammolo): Bright ruby-red. Musky aromas of blackberry, violet and minerals are deep and brooding. Then creamy-sweet and powerful on the palate, with very bright acidity and inner-mouth floral character giving this densely packed wine noteworthy finesse. Finishes with refined tannins and outstanding persistence. A strong vintage for this wine; in fact, it should turn out to be the best Coltassala in some time. Readers who are in love with Tuscan wines might remember the fantastic 1985 Coltassala, one of the best sangiovese wines ever made in Italy, or the 1981, which had outstanding sangiovese perfume; I for one wish Volpaia were making more wines like those two. Perhaps this 2009 is a step in that direction."
92+ points -- Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar

"The 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva Coltassala is a surprisingly huge, powerful wine for this estate. Tobacco, smoke, incense, dark red cherries and cedar are some of the many notes that come to life in this gorgeous Chianti Classico. The 2009 needs time, but it has plenty to offer. Readers should give the 2009 a bit more time in the cellar, as some slightly angular contours remain."
92 points -- Antonio Galloni, vinousmedia.com


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