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Sangiovese, 2012. La Stricsia
Item # L0214R1II

Sangiovese, 2012. La Stricsia

Vintage: 2012
Varietal: Sangiovese
Vineyard/Appellation: Tuscany, Italy
Color: Magenta
Nose: Earth, licorice and tart cherry
Palate: Leather with mixed cherries
Finish: Elegant and engaging cherry and earth
Rating: 95
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Drink now through 2017
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The Fattoria La Striscia winery boasts deep roots that go back in time to the Italian Renaissance. In 1800, during the reign of Grand Duke Leopoldo II of Tuscany, Count Giovan Battista Occhini acquired the Tenuta di Villa La Striscia together with his brother Pietro. Driven by a deep love for the traditions of this area, Occhini developed the estate particularly its vineyards. The main grape variety then and now was Sangiovese, which was the heart of what later would be Chianti dei Colli Aretini, a blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Malvasia. The estate comprised numerous properties on the hills surrounding the villa where Sangiovese found a perfect home with its sunny, south-facing exposure and deep, dry, sandy soils. These conditions that lent a distinctive bouquet to the wine.

In the early 1900s, the estate was owned by Giovan's descendent, Pier Ludovico Occhini. He enlarged and restructured the main residence into the magnificent structure that we see today. He brought back their former glory the frescoes by Arezzo artist Alessandro Forzori, who in 1582 painted the magnificent vaulted ceiling in one of the spacious rooms.

In 2000, the winery launched a vineyard restructuring program that adopted the most up-to-date practices and the necessary foundation for producing wines of absolute quality. This philosophy, in conjunction with a modernized cellar beginning with the 2001 vintage, has yielded a new wine, Occhini, which represents the perfect union between tradition, exemplified in its fermentation and innovation displayed in its barrel maturation.

The reception and tributes it has received gave it a place among Tuscany's best red wines and provided the impulse, in the 2004 vintage, to produce the classic Chianti DOCG we feature this month. For its production, optimally ripe grapes undergo fermentation with indigenous yeasts in glass-lined cement vats. The malolactic fermentation occurs in large and small oak barrels, where the wine matures for 10 months. The wine is then bottled in the villa's underground cellars, composed of massive 15th-century walls and vaulted ceilings.

This is the best Chianti we've tasted in years. It's rich, ripe fruit and incredible finish is rarely found in wines costing twice as much. A perfect match with a lamb leg, slowly roasted over hickory.

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