The White Soul of Brolio, Francesco Ricasoli Presents Ricasoli 1141 Torricella From 1943 to 2019

Chianti Classico, a region dominated by red wine production, is also an excellent territory for white wines with great aging potential as proven by Castello di Brolio Torricella of Ricasoli 1141. At the vertical tasting of the wines with AIS Rome Delegation that was guided by Valentino Tesi, Best Sommelier of AIS Italy in 2019, Francesco Ricasoli, president of Ricasoli 1141, showcased 13 vintages (14 wines) of Torricella starting from 1943 followed by 1957, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007(stelvin), 2007 (cork), 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2019. The label Torricella has changed vinification styles and grape varieties over the decades but one notable general characteristic that was maintained from the 79-year old wine to the present vintage is the clean mouthfeel and the harmony.

The oldest winery in Italy and the fourth oldest in the world, Ricasoli 1141 has survived centuries of struggles in their historical Castello di Brolio in Gaiole in Chianti. For almost nine centuries, the noble Ricasoli family has been intertwined with the ancient wine tradition of Tuscany making them the first to dedicate themselves to the improvement of agriculture and viticulture after perceiving the great potential of the Brolio territory. Exports to Amsterdam and England have been transacted from as early as the 1600s and by the start of the 1900s, they have started exporting to other continents. However, the pivotal year was 1872 when they made a fundamental imprint in the history of Italian wine making tradition. After 30 years of experimentation and documentation, Baron Bettino Ricasoli, twice Prime Minister of Italy, developed the formula of the famous Chianti wine: principally Sangiovese, mixed with Canaiolo Nero to temper its hardness and Malvasia Bianca Lunga which aids in its path to aging. After a slight alteration of taking away the Malvasia, this recipe is still in use and now referred to as the Chianti Classico.

The estate is spread in an area of 1200 hectares at an altitude of 250 to 450 meters asl, 240 of which are dedicated to vineyards. The heart of the Ricasoli wine production is located at the foot of the magnificent Castello di Brolio, a castle originally built to defend Florence from its rival city of Siena. Francesco Ricasoli, 32nd Baron of Brolio, now holds the helm of the winery ever since he reacquired it in 1993 from a foreign company. It was from this year that he guided the wine estate steadfastly in creating wines that reflect the family’s centuries-old dedication to the quality and innovation of wine making. He has conducted studies of soil types, as well as the remapping and renovation of the vineyards. The wines under his care therefore expressed the fulfillment of his research with deep respect to his family’s tradition and employment of contemporary techniques.

The panorama of the wines of Chianti Classico is dominated by the most important grape variety of Tuscany: Sangiovese. Yet, at Ricasoli, white wine is getting its own niche among their great red wines. The birth of Torricella is uncertain that not even Francesco Ricasoli can ascertain. The historical phase of Torricella is divided into two distinct oenological evolutions, from birth to 1983, then an emptiness of ten years, towards its return in 1993.

Torricella has been changed a few times over the years with regards to its vinification process and grape variety blends. Until 1983, it was obtained from Malvasia Bianca Lunga del Chianti and a little bit of Trebbiano then aged for almost three years in large wooden barrels and more years in the bottle. The label was revived in 1993 when Francesco took over, but the vineyards of the white grapes were already planted with Sangiovese. However, they found the perfect plots with a lot of sandstone in the upper part where the Chardonnay was planted while at the bottom where river deposits are present, the Sauvignon Blanc were placed. The production style has also gone through a modification from large wood to smaller new French oak barrique. In 2002, the all-wood vinification ended and in 2003, the vinification passed to steel vats with the final fermentation in barrique, on fine lees with frequent bâtonnage. Again, in 2009, the formula changed. The percentage of Sauvignon Blanc was increased while the use of oak was decreased, from new barrique to tonneau of 2nd and 3rd passages. In 2015, the Chardonnay is aged in oak of 2nd to 3rd passage for 9 months with partial malolactic fermentation while the Sauvignon stays in steel containers for the same amount of time. Finally, with the 2019 harvest, 100% Chardonnay is used again with the aim to focus on its longevity.

Vertical Tasting of Torricella:

Ricasoli 1141 Torricella Toscana IGT 2019
Made from 100% Chardonnay, fermented in stainless steel at a controlled temperature for 30 days, aged in tonneaux (20% new) on the lees with frequent batonnage for 9 months. In the glass it presents a bright straw yellow color with an intense and complex nose of white and yellow flowers, candied citrus peel, yellow peach, sage, thyme, stone, smoke and buttery nuances while in the mouth it has a pronounced acidity, perceptible salinity, hints of smoke, stone, toasted nuts and lemon peel. A beautiful well-structured wine that finishes with persistence, and promises to show its best for more years in the cellar. 92/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella Toscana IGT 2015
Made from 75% Chardonnay aged in tonneau of 2nd to 3rd passage for 9 months with partial malolactic fermentation while the 25% Sauvignon stays in steel containers for the same amount of time. In the glass it presents a bright straw yellow color with hints of green. The nose presents layers of smokiness, dried yellow flowers, yellow pulp fruits, salted butter and candied citrus peel while the mouth, having an aspect of liquor, has a pronounced acidity with notes of smoke, eucalyptus, and citrus peel in alcohol that finishes with persistence. Has reached its equilibrium but will continue to show its personality for more years. 90/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella Toscana IGT 2012
Made from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Sauvignon, aged in 50% tonneau of 2nd to 3rd passage and 50% steel containers for 6 months. In the glass it presents a straw yellow color with hints of gold. The nose is intense and rich with aromas of honey, dried yellow flowers, peach jam, eucalyptus, and seaweeds while in the mouth, it enters spreading out with tropical fruit, sapidity with the acidity lingering and ends with moderate persistence. 88/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella Toscana IGT 2010
Made from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Sauvignon, aged in 50% tonneau of 2nd to 3rd passage and 50% steel containers for 6 months. In the glass it presents a bright straw yellow color going towards gold. The nose is intense and complex with aromas of yellow stone fruit jam, licorice, cocoa butter, tropical fruits and hay while the mouth is concentrated, warm, moderate acidity with a hint of bitterness in the end. 87/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella Chardonnay 2008
Made from 100% Chardonnay wherein 2/3 are aged in new barrique and 1/3 in steel vats with daily batonnage at the beginning. In the glass it presents a bright straw yellow to golden color with a hint of green. The nose is intense, fresh and complex with interesting aromas of toasted nuts, white chocolate, stone, eucalyptus and green herbs while the mouth parallels the aromas, marked acidity with a long finish. A great harmonious wine that after 14 years, still shows off a great personality and youthful characteristics which definitely still has a long life to give. 93/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella Chardonnay 2007 (Stelvin screw cap)
This vintage was produced with two kinds of closures: Stelvin screw cap and cork but only the latter was released to the market while the first one remained in the winery. Made from 100% Chardonnay wherein 2/3 are aged in new barrique and 1/3 in steel vats with daily batonnage at the beginning. In the glass it presents a bright straw yellow with golden highlights. The nose is intense and thin with moderate complexity of aromas of toasted nuts, mature yellow stone fruits, tropical fruits, stone and eucalyptus while in the mouth there is a marked salinity, tropical fruits and lingers with toasted nuts in the end. It has a persistent finish with an evident clean mouthfeel. 88/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella Chardonnay 2007 (cork closure, magnum)
Made from 100% Chardonnay wherein 2/3 are aged in new barrique and 1/3 in steel vats with daily batonnage at the beginning. In the glass it presents a diverse aspect from the other bottle with Stelvin screw cap closure. This has evolved more in all aspects giving a golden yellow color with dark highlights. The nose is intense and spread out with more complexity of aromas of mature tropical fruits, candied citrus peel, mature yellow stone fruits, stone, and layers of smokiness while in the mouth it is more concentrated with more evolution and ends with moderate persistence. 87/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella Chardonnay 2006
Made from 100% Chardonnay wherein 2/3 are aged in new barrique and 1/3 in steel vats with daily batonnage at the beginning. The climatic year was very good with a rating of 5 stars. In the glass it presents a bright golden yellow color with amber highlights. The nose is intense and complex with interesting aromas of licorice, toasted nuts, caramel, dried fruits, stone, eucalyptus, seaweeds and smoke while the mouth has a marked acidity, lemon marmalade, tropical fruits, salty notes, hay, burnt brown sugar, pine, and with a long finish. A harmonious wine with excellent evolution. 93/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella 2004 (magnum)
Made from 100% Chardonnay wherein 2/3 are aged in new barrique and 1/3 in steel vats with daily batonnage at the beginning. The climatic year was very good with a rating of 5 stars. In the glass it presents a bright golden yellow- amber color. The nose is intense and complex with aromas of dried flowers, cooked yellow stone fruits, mature tropical fruits, alcohol-soaked citrus peel, coffee, licorice and seaweeds while it gives a good acidity in the mouth upon entry, paralleling the aromas, clean mouthfeel and long finish. 91/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella 2003
Made from 100% Chardonnay wherein 2/3 are aged in new barrique and 1/3 in steel vats with daily batonnage at the beginning. The climatic year was one of the hottest. In the glass it presents a bright golden yellow- amber color. The nose is intense and complex with aromas of dried cereals, freshly-baked brioche, dried flowers, cooked yellow stone fruits, mature tropical fruits and toffee while in the mouth the acidity is underlined, toasted notes and baked pastries. 90/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella 2001
Made from 100% Chardonnay with vinification, fermentation and maturation in new French oak barrique for 9 months. In the glass it presents a bright golden yellow- amber color. The nose is intense and complex with aromas of dried flowers, smoked wood, burned brown sugar, roasted almonds, brioche, stone, citrus cream and toffee while the mouth presents a marked acidity, baked pastries, toasted nuts, notes of salinity and warmth. 90/100

Castello di Brolio Torricella 1995
Made from 100% Chardonnay with vinification, fermentation and maturation in new French oak barrique for 9 months. In the glass it presents a bright golden yellow color with a green note, making it look much younger than its age of 27 years. The nose is intense and complex with aromas of dried yellow flowers, balsamic notes, dried ginger and mature tropical fruits while the mouth parallels the aromas, has very good acidity and salinity and finishes long. Its displays excellent evolution showcasing youth and freshness in all aspects. 93/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella Vin Bianco 1957
Made from Malvasia Bianca Lunga del Chianti with a little bit of Trebbiano with maturation in large oak barrels for 3 years. In the glass it presents a vibrant and bright golden yellow – to amber color. The nose is intense and has an ample complexity of aromas of fortified wine, malt, candied rhubarb, candied lemon peel, toffee, white chocolate and ginger while the mouth has interesting flavors of chinotto, baked pastries, candied rhubarb, tropical fruits and malt, as it ends with a line of salinity. After 65 years, it presents an amazing balanced evolution and optimum quality displaying a harmony of visual, olfactory and gustatory characteristics. 93/100

Barone Ricasoli Torricella Vin Bianco 1943
Made from Malvasia Bianca Lunga del Chianti with a little bit of Trebbiano with maturation in large oak barrels for 3 years. In the glass it presents a bright dark golden yellow color with amber highlights. The nose is compact, intense and complex with aromas of fortified wine, saltiness, malt, ginger and hay while the mouth presents a good layer of salinity and acidity, reminiscent of fine Marsala, and finishes with persistence. Almost 80 years of age and the wine was showing a great spirit of its remarkable longevity. It has long reached its peak and is going towards its path to retiring in a most beautiful way. An extraordinary 79 year old white wine! 90/100

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