San Felice is an estate in the eponymously named hamlet (‘frazione’) in Castelnuovo Berardenga in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany, Italy. It produced the first SuperTuscan, Vigorello, in 1968. See also the Campogiovanni estate in Montalcino, Villa La Pagliaia in Chianti Classico (see separate entry), and Perola in Massa Marittima all of which are under the same ownership.
Owner: Gruppo Allianz (Società Agricola San Felice S.p.A).
Vineyards: 140 hectares (346 acres) of vines.
Research: San Felice has invested heavily into research on grape varieties historic to both Chianti and Tuscany in general. The Vitarium’ is an experimental vineyard from which the Pugnitello grape re-emerged.
Contrada, Toscana Rosso.: 2011 50% Merlot, 40% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. £8-14.99. Stalky nose, flat and green, tanky (Bronze, DWWA 2013).
Chianti Classico DOCG, San Felice: 2010 80% Sangiovese, 10% each Pugnitello & Colorino. A bit herbaceous and fizzy (DWWA 2013). | 2016 80% Sangiovese, 20% Colorino, Pugnitello. Galestro soils. Hail struck in 2016. 300,000 bottles (450,000 normally). Nice crunchy style (Boot Camp 2018). | 2017 80% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino, 10% Pugnitello.
Chianti Classico DOCG, Poggio Rosso: 2018 100% Sangiovese.
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Poggio Rosso: 1990 Bottled. | 1997 Bottled. | 1999 Bottled.
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Il Grigio da San Felice: 2009 100% Sangiovese. Wild fruit and chocolate, a bit burnt and attenuated, sour cherry notes (DWWA 2013). | 2015 100% Sangiovese.
Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione, Il Grigio da San Felice: 2015 80% Sangiovese, 20% other grape varieties.
Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione, Poggio Rosso: 2013 13.5%. | 2015 100% Sangiovese. 100% alberese soils. 400 metres. A flat plateau. Fermented in wooden vats for 3-4 weeks. Wants a slow infusion at 28 degrees C, not a quick extraction. 24 months in tonneaux. 15,000 bottles. Fluidity allied to bright fruit, well integrated fruit and oak tannins, plenty of texture to the fruit, very appealing now but has the inner strength to age for a decade during which its full palate of dark red but never black fruit flavours will be fully expressed. A very tidy, well thought out wine. UK: Paul Boutinot (Boot Camp 2018). | 2015 100% Sangiovese.
Vigorello: Toscana Rosso. ‘A predecessor of the Supertuscan wines.’ | 1968 The debut Vigorello was produced in 1968 (“the first SuperTuscan”) and released in 1972. It was made from Sangiovese, contained no white grapes, but did contain a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon. | 2008 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Lots of cassis, dense, firm, ripe sloes and clean vanilla oak, plenty of ripe black fruit on the mid-palate to support the oak, moccha coffee on the end (Silver, DWWA 2013). | 2015 35% Pugnitello, 30% each Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, 5& Petit Verdot.
Pugnitello: Made from the Pugnitello grape.
Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC, Il Grigio in Pincis | 2007 25% Malvasia del Chianti, 75% Trebbiano Toscano.
Hotel: Part of the Relais & Chateaux chain.
Bill Nesto MW & Frances Di Savino, Chianti Classico, the Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine, (University of California Press, 2016).
Chianti Classico Boot Camp 2018 (13 Sept), Certosa di Pontignano, Castelnuovo Berardenga.
Società Agricola San Felice S.p.A.
Località San Felice, I-53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 0577.3991 | Website www.agricolasanfelice.it