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“Silky, polished … one of the stars of the vintage. Don’t miss it. 96 rating.”Antonio Galloni
Tuscany’s viticultural heart and soul is the Sangiovese grape. But today, outside of Montalcino, few blue chip wines are made entirely from the variety.
Of these, one wine stands not only above the rest but alongside the top half dozen Brunellos. Its name is Percarlo, the flagship wine of the ancient estate of San Giusto a Rentennano.
Since its debut in 1983, Percarlo has proven itself one of Tuscany’s greatest expressions of pure Sangiovese—a marvel of power and intensity allied with nuance and finesse. And it has been so with astonishing regularity; Antonio Galloni reported that a 24-vintage Percarlo vertical tasted at the estate nearly a decade ago, “left me speechless … deeply struck by the consistency of the wines from year to year.”
Yet, San Giusto’s Luca Martini di Cigala and his family are relentless in their pursuit of ever greater expression and refinement, and the more recent vintages of Percarlo are even more transparent and elegant than before. A case in point is the 2014 Percarlo—it has all of this cuvée’s hallmark richness and intensity but articulated with amazing precision and finesse.
One Kilo Per Vine
The secret to Percarlo’s transcendent quality and character is Luca Martini di Cigala and his family’s perfectionist tending of their providential terroir in the Tuscan village of Monti, known by the cognoscenti as the source of Chianti Classico’s most powerful and long lived wines.
The family maximizes both site and vintage expression by keeping yields scrupulously low—only one kilogram of fruit per vine—and through a cluster-by-cluster inspection of the grapes entering the winery, to select only the finest fruit for Percarlo.
And this unsparing attention to detail is matched by Luca’s masterful touch in the cellar. The 2014 Percarlo’s perfect fruit was fermented and macerated in enameled concrete tanks for a lengthy 34 days, followed by nearly two years aging in French oak barrels of varying sizes. Galloni cites the greater percentage of larger barrels for the 2014’s “palpable” increased level of finesse.
It’s a wine that confirms why Galloni was moved to write that San Giusto has “taken their wines into the stratosphere and firmly placed them among the world's most pedigreed.” The 2014 Percarlo is a towering example.
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