Ricasoli 1141 in Chianti Classico: The Castle, the Baron and the Wine

For almost nine centuries, the Ricasoli family of Castello di Brolio has played a leading role in Tuscany's history of wine including the conception of Chianti Classico. In the year 1141, there was a written testimony linking the family to wine in the castle making them the first to dedicate themselves to the improvement of agriculture and viticulture after perceiving the great potential of the Brolio territory. Exports of wine to Amsterdam and England from as early as the 1600s were documented whereas at the start of 1900s they were already well-known around the world and the wines were being exported to different continents of the world. The year 1872 made a fundamental imprint in the history of Italian wine, most especially that of Tuscany. It is the year when Baron Bettino Ricasoli, a visionary wine entrepreneur, who later became the second and seventh Prime Minister of Italy, created the formula of Chianti wine which is now referred to as the Chianti Classico.

Entering the modern times, in 1993, 32nd Baron Francesco Ricasoli became the owner and president of the company and has guided it since then with innovative challenges to viticulture driven by the key principles of highlighting the territory, continuous research and maintaining environmental sustainability. With deep respect to the attainments of his ancestors who have made huge differences in the territorial capacity to viticulture, being Bettino Ricasoli as foremost, Francesco has generated new ideas and concepts in rendering the vineyards sustainable. Professional photography was his initial calling but he eventually took over the activity from his father. Industrious in his ways, he purposed to years of study and research for a sense of contemporaneity while still keeping the values of the age old family tradition. 


Francesco has conducted a study of the soil types and the clonal selection of Sangiovese, the primary grape in the vineyards, in which case he has renovated the vineyards and carried out their complete mapping. Therefore, the wines he produces are products of tedious research in finding out the maximum expressiveness that the Sangiovese can get from certain soils creating more individual wines. Wine vinified plot by plot helped him identify the areas with particular features and from that, wines of structure and distinctive flavor are produced. Ricasoli has the largest estate in the Chianti Classico appellation. It stands right in the heart of the Chianti Classico and provides displays optimum pedological and climatological characteristics that are best suited for obtaining quality wines. The whole estate consists of 1,200 hectares, wherein 300 are dedicated to agriculture, 25 to olive groves and 240 to vineyards at an elevation of 220 to 500 meters above sea level, mostly on south and southwest exposure on 19 diverse soil types. The climate is Mediterranean with mild winters and hot, dry summers.

"Each wine we produce has a very independent personality, though all are produced in the same territory. The credit lies in the multifaceted soils, altitudes and microclimates that allow us to bring out the true nature of the Brolio Terroir." - Francesco Ricasoli.


Some crus of exceptional quality are produced like the Castello di Brolio, the estate's grand wine, with the prime vineyards of Sangiovese located close to the castle having the three most representative soils in Brolio: Macigno del Chianti (sandstone), Scaglia Toscana (Galestro), and Monte Morello (Alberese). The three crus Colledil√†, Roncicone, and CeniPrimo, results of the comprehensive zonal project of Sangiovese, give a profound expression of the terroir. Colledil√† lies on a clayey-calcareous soil, known as Alberese and it has one of the most representative typologies of the Chianti Classico denomination: very stony soil, rich in calcium carbonate and clay and poor in organic substance. CeniPrimo is located on an Ancient River Terrace with vineyards of just 6 hectares at 300 meters above sea level and has a southwestern exposure. Roncicone is located on a Marine Deposits geological formation with about 10 hectares in size, located at 320 meters above sea level and with a southeastern exposure.

CeniPrimo Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2018, has been the first Chianti Classico to ever achieve the perfect 100/100 score from a wine critic (in May 2021 by wine critic James Suckling).

 

Ricasoli 1141 Torricella Toscana IGT 2019 / Ricasoli 1141 Torricella Toscana IGT 2010

Obtained from 100% Chardonnay. The grapes were selected and hand-picked, aged in tonneaux (20% new) for 10 months on the lees with frequent batonnage then more ageing in the bottle. Straw yellow in color with an intense nose of complex aromas of mature tropical fruits, ripe crispy yellow apples, citrus, stone minerals and light notes of vanilla. In the mouth, it flows thinly and smoothly with a pronounced acidity, sapidity and light buttery sensation as it finishes with persistence. The 2010 vintage was a beautiful surprise. At 11 years of age, it displayed its distinct characteristics as if it's still young, marked freshness and long finish.

Ricasoli 1141 Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG 2019

Obtained from 80% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon cultivated in the vineyards with the five most representative soils in Brolio: Macigno del Chianti (sandstone), Scaglia Toscana (Galestro), Monte Morello (Alberese), Marine Deposit (sandy deposits and clay at deeper levels) and Ancient Fluvial Terrace (silty deposits with clay). Fermentation in steel tanks at controlled temperature with skin contact for two weeks then aged for 9 months in tonneaux of second and third passages. Brilliant deep ruby red in color with an expressive nose of ripe red cherries, violets, dry spices like pepper and a hint of cocoa. In the palate the freshness is underlined along with the minerality, tannins are smooth and leaves a pleasant long finish.

Ricasoli 1141 Brolio Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2018

Obtained from 95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot cultivated in varied vineyards with stony fragments. Fermentation in steel tanks at controlled temperature with skin contact for two weeks then ageing in for 18 months in tonneaux of first and second passages. Deep ruby red in color with garnet edges. It has an intense and complex nose with aromas of underlined dry spices, ripe black cherries and dark plums and notes of chocolate. Full-bodied with a palate of a pronounced acidity, smooth tannins, good structure and persistent finish.

Ricasoli 1141 Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2018

Obtained from 100% Sangiovese cultivated in vines planted between 16 to 29 years ago that went through meticulous selection. The soils where the vineyards are three of the most representative soils in Brolio: Macigno del Chianti (sandstone), Scaglia Toscana (Galestro), and Monte Morello (Alberese). Fermentation in steel tanks at controlled temperature with skin contact for two weeks then ageing for 23 months in tonneaux, 30% new and 70% second passage. Deep ruby red color with garnet hints, elegant, intense complex nose of mature plums, black cherries, eucalyptus, dried tobacco and stone minerals while the mouth is rich and round with velvety tannins and underlined acidity with a persistent finish. It's a pleasure to drink now and expresses big potentiality of longevity showcasing its important personality.

Ricasoli 1141 Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2016

Obtained from 97% Sangiovese and 3% Abrusco cultivated in vines planted between 16 to 29 years ago that went through meticulous selection. The soils where the vineyards are three of the most representative soils in Brolio: Macigno del Chianti (sandstone), Scaglia Toscana (Galestro), and Monte Morello (Alberese). Fermentation in steel tanks at controlled temperature with skin contact for two weeks then ageing for 18 months in tonneaux, 30% new and 70% second passage. Deep ruby red color with garnet hints, elegant, intense complex nose of red berries, mature plums, black cherries, dried tobacco, dried spices and stone minerals while the mouth is rich and round with velvety tannins, underlined acidity, and aftertaste of berries with a persistent finish. A great wine with a great character.



Osteria di Brolio

The restaurant is surrounded by trees at the beginning of the ascent to the castle. Amidst the woods, it's a place where you can enjoy the spirit of the Chianti nature with the contemporary cuisine of Executive Chef Franco Sangiacomo. He dedicates the traditional flavors of Chianti with innovation concocted with his personal style - simplicity in the mouth that highlights the principal ingredients. Local products and seasonal fresh ingredients from the castle's large vegetable garden are used in his dishes. Prior to his return to the restaurant in April 2021, he has already worked as Executive Chef at Osteria di Brolio between 2008 to 2015 before moving to the United States. In total he has had 30 years of experience both in Italy and abroad. The Osteria di Brolio is open for lunch and dinner daily except Thursdays.

Villa Agresto

Villa Agresto is a restored eighteenth-century Tuscan farmhouse located in the Ricasoli estate in the Chianti Classico area. It's on the hill southwest of the castle and surrounded by the vineyards. It lends a panorama that stretches from the towers of Siena to Mount Amiata and Radicofani. It has a spacious living room, a dining area, four double rooms with private bathroom and a family room with two double rooms and bathroom. There is a swimming pool in the garden with a view of the vineyards. It is available for a minimum four-night stay from March to December.

Ricasoli 1141

Loc. Madonna a Brolio
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (SI), Italy
Tel: +39 0577 7301
Email: barone@ricasoli.it
Website: https://www.ricasoli.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ricasoli1141