We have admired Alessandro Sderci’s wines for many years, but never have we been more enamored of a Chianti Classico than Il Palazzino’s 2012 Grosso Sanese that Alessandro and his son Edoardo fashioned. Smooth, rich and velvety, the 2012 Il Palazzino Grosso Sanese captures the sculptured beauty of the Tuscan landscape. Savory scents and flavors of ripe red cherries, rose petals, and exotic spices waft from the glass and caress the palate. Add a hint of forest floor, hazelnut, and silky tannins and the Sdercis’ 2012 Grosso Sanese is an absolute pleasure to drink. This is a wine that could easily pose as the poster child for Chianti Classico. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest opening the 2012 Il Palazzino Grosso Sanese at least 30 minutes prior to serving. And, as is the case for most fine Tuscan reds, the greatest drinking pleasure appears to be at cool room temperature (60° F). Anticipated maturity: 2018-2022. Enjoy!
Beef, lamb, pork and poultry all make excellent accompaniments to Il Palazzino’s smooth, sophisticated 2012 Grosso Sanese Chianti Classico. In fact, Grosso Sanese, Il Palazzino’s most prized wine, deserves the finest cuts of meat. Filet Mignon, Prime Rib, pork tenderloin, tender cuts of veal, and roasted game birds all rank high on our list of companions for this wine. A stuffed, slowly grilled veal chop wins our highest commendation as does Pappardelle with wild boar sauce. Seared Duck Breast served with a blackberry or cherry reduction provides another wonderful accompaniment. A splendid Porcini mushroom or truffle infused risotto or pasta dish will fill the bill, too. However, we suggest you save heavy tomato sauces and garlic-laden dishes for simpler, more rustic wines. The 2012 Grosso Sanese’s purity and rich, suave flavors stand out best when not fighting with strong spicy flavors or raw garlic or onion. Buon Appetito!
In the hills south of Gaiole, Alessandro Sderci and his family produce some of the most seductive wines in all of Chianti Classico in addition to fashioning one of Tuscany’s most exciting red wines from Bordeaux varietals. While we have been longtime admirers of Il Palazzino and have enjoyed many splendid bottles of their Chianti Classico, the estate’s flagship offering and this month’s feature, the 2012 Grosso Sanese, takes Chianti Classico to the highest level. It also reaffirms our belief in the direction, quality and uniqueness of this extraordinary property.
Il Palazzino is part of a network of farms and country residences built or restored in the eighteenth century during the land reform enacted by Leopold Hapsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, whose aim was to improve the life of the farmers. The homestead of “Il Palazzino” had a small cellar, a rarity in those days, as the grapes were usually brought to the main farm to be vinified. In the mid nineteenth century, the Sdercis became the owners of Il Palazzino and the estate’s cellar. Through the tumult of world wars and the nearly constant revolution in both viticulture and official regulations governing the production of Chianti Classico, the Sdercis have assiduously worked their hillside vineyard plots, some of which are in excess of 1,300 feet in elevation. In short, this dynamic family has created a model estate where the flawless excellence of its wines is unsurpassed, even by many of the older, more famous estates in Tuscany. Moreover, the Sdercis are passionately committed to their work and they are constantly searching for ways to “push the envelope” and improve the quality of their already superb offerings.
Some of the ways Il Palazzino continues to “push the envelope” on quality is by transferring the entire estate completely to organic viticulture, using only natural wild yeasts, implementing preventative measures to combat diseases in the vineyards rather than chemicals, and eschewing all filtration of its wines. Since 1984, when the archaic and highly idiosyncratic laws proscribing both white and red grapes for Chianti Classico were changed, Il Palazzino has embarked on an odyssey to produce wines of unique and exceptional quality. And since being set free from the old canonical Chianti blend, which included Trebbiano and white Malvasia for Chianti Classico, Il Palazzino has fashioned pure, rich wines that possess extraordinary elegance and individuality – attributes that not all producers in Chianti Classico can claim. In the ensuing years, the Sdercis also planted Bordeaux varietals in order to make a special wine called Bertinga from Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot.
Today, Il Palazzino fashions several Chianti Classico wines from vineyard sites of varying soil compositions. Chianti Classico Argenina springs from volcanic soil and is the lightest of the estate’s Chianti Classico wines, while Chianti Classico La Pieve and Chianti Classico Grosso Sanese originate from clay and limestone-rich soils that produce more muscular wines for extended ageing. Bertinga, the estate’s Toscana IGT wine, emanates from a venerable vineyard with a long history. Il Palazzino also crafts small quantities of outstanding Vin Santo, Tuscany’s unique dessert wine that is like no other wine on earth. What set all of the wines of Il Palazzino apart from the competition are beautiful aromatics, complexity, finesse, richness, and warmth.
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