Size & Type
One of the most celebrated expressions of Sangiovese on the market today is the San Giusto a Rentennano 2019 Percarlo. This organic wine has a hint of extra ripeness or richness that transcends the bouquet. You feel as if you can bite into the fruit, and indeed the 2019 vintage is recognized by its unique power and density (with a 15% alcohol content). It’s a lot to take in, and there is enough lasting fiber and fruit power to fuel a long drinking window. This is one of the bigger and more opulent editions of Percarlo I have tasted.
Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate 96 Points AG 97
Only 2 left in stock
Percarlo is made from 100% estate grown Sangiovese grapes, especially selected bunch per bunch, from the best zones of our vineyards, which have a low yield of 1 Kg grapes per vine. The grapes are usually matured to an extra degree of ripeness. Fermentation and maceration take place using natural yeasts in enameled concrete vats for as long as 35 days. Percarlo is aged in French oak barrels for 20-22 months and kept in bottled for another 18 months before being released. The grapes which go into the making of Percarlo are selected, bunch per bunch, from vineyards whose soil dates predominately to the Pliocene epoch. It is composed of layers of sand and stones which lie 2 to 5 meters deep and rest on beds of clay. The vineyards are situated at an average altitude of 270 meters above sea level. Notwithstanding the variations from year to year which occur in every wine faithful to its terroir, each vintage of Percarlo possesses constant characteristics which give it a precise, recognizeable identity. It is a wine with long ageing potential, a robust expression of the San Giusto a Rentennano terroir.
San Giusto a Rentennano, originally a monastery fortified in 1204 by the Florentines as their boundary with Siena, today uses the underground vaults built as part of the fortification as their cellars. For centuries it was owned by the Ricasoli family of neighbouring Brolio, passing to the Martini di Cigala family in 1957. This beautiful 160 hectare estate, with 30 of vineyards, is run by brothers and sister team of Francesco, Luca and Elisabetta. The vineyards enjoy exceptional exposure with considerable day and night temperature differences and the terrain is composed of various soils rich in minerals.
San Giusto’s wines are renowned for their elegance, balancing rich fruit and beautiful aromatics with superb freshness. Chianti Classico shows great purity with bright red fruits and floral notes. Le Baroncole, a Riserva selection aged for 16-20 months in barrique, has dark cherry fruit, flowers, spice and liquorice. Percarlo, the estate’s flagship wine first made in 1983, is a selection of Sangiovese from across six cru vineyards that form the best expression of the terroir of San Giusto. Multi-layered with rich dark fruit supported by firm tannins and beautifully integrated oak, Percarlo is a powerful wine that cellars well for up to 20 years in the finest vintages. La Ricolma, one of world’s great Merlots, is typically silky with rich plummy fruit and a distinct stamp of ‘Tuscanness’.
Finally, Vin San Giusto is one of Tuscany’s finest Vin Santos. Made mostly from Malvasia with 10% Trebbiano, the grapes are dried on racks for approximately 140 days before being pressed into six small chestnut barrels for six years. Concentrated and complex with fig, toffee, salted caramel, prunes and spice, the palate goes on and on. This is one of Italy’s must try before you die wines, unfortunately our allocation is just 24 bottles.
The estate is comprised of 160 hectares, situated at an average altitude of 270 meters above sea level. 31 hectares are planted in vineyards, 11 in olive groves, 40 in woods, 78 in cultivated and grazing lands. The terrain is composed of various soils rich in different mineral components, sand, clay, lime, alkali, argil and calcium. The microclimate is characterized by considerable day and night temperature differences and often heat during harvest time. All the vineyards enjoy exceptionally favourable exposure. During the months of July and August, we thin-out the natural growth of grape bunches by 30-50%, a practice called “green harvesting ,” which encourages the full and perfect maturation of our grapes.
Our farming methods remain largely manual and exclusively organic certified.
That first bit of kit in the pic’s below is a seriously expensive destemmer. Having one is sign that a winery is intent on working gently with the fruit and is prepared to spend coin to build divine mouthfeel and tannin profiles. You can see one in operation in this Wine Bites Mag article “Winemaking Excellence – Fruit Sorting & Destemming at Yabby Lake with Tom Carson”.
Harvest: from 26th to 29th September 2016
Yield per plant: kg. 1
Length of fermentation and maceration on the skins : 38 days
Wood-ageing: 22 months in French oak tonneaux (Allier, Nevers) of 500 litres and barrel of 3000 litres – new oak = 25% – Bottle ageing: 15 months
Bottled: from 2nd to 5th April 2019 – Production: n. 18.268 bottles of 750 ml; n. 1000 Magnum of 1500 ml; n. 180 Double Magnum of 3000 ml; n. 15 bottles of 5000 ml and n. 50 bottles of 6000 ml
Analysis: Alcohol: 15% Sugar: <1g/l Acidity: 6.35 g/l Volatile Acidity: 0.78 g/l Net extracts: 33.2 g/l pH: 3.33 Sulphur: less than 100 mg per liter as required by organic laws.
Once again, Luca Martini di Cigala presented a strong set of wines. The 2019 vintage was not easy. A severe hailstorm on July 13 damaged the canopy in the Sangioveses and pushed back harvest by about ten days. Things were even more difficult for the Merlot. Because of its earlier cycle, Merlot was more exposed and hail damaged the berries, not just the canopies. As a result, yields for the Ricolma are down 50%. Some wines, notably the Baròncole, show a slightly rough quality to the tannins. The 2020s I tasted point to a strong year. “We had one very hot week in the middle of September that accelerated our harvest. It felt like the grapes might dehydrate on the vine, ” Martini di Cigala told me. “That was followed by heavy rain and cold weather.” The 2020s are marked by luscious fruit and terrific depth. Sadly, though, there will be no Ricolma because of a technical issue that arose in fermentation. I am sure it is incredibly hard to lose a wine like that after an entire year of work, but then again, these are wines made with an uncompromising commitment to values of sustainable farming and artisan winemaking, so these things can happen.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous
San Giusto is in the Gaiole within the Chianti Classico sub-region of Tuscany.
COther sub-regions include Montalcino and Montepuliciano. Like Montalcino, Chianti covers a large area and is relatively poorly defined in comparison to the likes of Barolo.
As is often the case with Italian wines there is confusion created by an ever changing general classification system. In this case we have wines two basic designation. The first, the Chianti Classico DOCG for which you see a black rooster on the label or neck tie which come from a defined area between Florence and Sienna. The Second Chianti DOCG or greater Chianti region that surrounds the Chianti Classico DOCG which in turn is broken up into seven sub-regions as seen in the second map below.
The 2019 Percarlo is a wine of reserve. There's terrific purity to the fruit and fine tannins for the year, but also a bit of firmness that needs time to resolve. Bright red-toned fruit, cedar, tobacco, licorice, blood orange and spice open nicely to play off those vibrant tannins. I imagine the 2019 will need a number of years to be at its best. The 2019 spent 22 months in a combination of 30HL casks and 500L in tonneau. Production is down about 25%.
Where in the world does the magic happen?
Fattoria San Giusto a Rentennano, Località San Giusto a Rentennano, Gaiole in Chianti, Province of Siena, Italy