Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2011
The Balifico vineyard shares its name and location with a villa. The first Super-Tuscans were created in the 1970s by Chianti producers who rejected government mandates that determined which grapes were required to go into their wine, especially white grapes like Malvasia and Trebbiano. The Super-Tuscans were also treated differently from Chianti, aged in small French barriques rather than in large Slovenian casks. Because they did not follow DOC regulations, the Super-Tuscans were entitled only to the lowest official designation of the time — vino da tavola. It wasn’t until 1994 that the government recognized the high quality of the Super-Tuscans and gave the wine its own category — IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica).
- Vineyards: Balifico (bawl-ee-FEE-co)
- Cultivation: Certified organic
- Size: 5.02 hectares (12.4 total acres): Sangiovese: 3.1 hectares (7.66 acres); Cabernet Sauvignon: 1.92 hectares (4.74 acres)
- Vine Age: Ongoing plantings since 1970
- Soil: Sandstone
- Elevation: Sangiovese: 470 meters (1,542 feet); Cabernet Sauvignon: 450 meters (1,475 feet)
- Exposure: South-southwest (Sangiovese); southwest (Cabernet Sauvignon)
- Density: Sangiovese: 5,435 vines/hectare (2,200 vines/acre); Cabernet Sauvignon: 5,698 vines/hectare (2,306 vines/acre)
- Training: Sangiovese: Guyot; Cabernet Sauvignon: Cordon spur
2011 was a very hot, dry year, which made the phenolic phases — from budbreak to ripening — occur 10 days earlier than usual. Rain was concentrated in the month of June and was practically nonexistent for the remainder of the season. Vines were stressed by the heat and lack of rain, especially in the second half of August when temperatures reached their peak. Harvest was anticipated and required careful grape selection.
- Harvest Date(s): October 4 and 14
- Barrel Aging: 18 months in new French oak
- Varietal Composition: 65% Sangiovese, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Alcohol: 14.5%
- TA: 5g/L
The Balifico is a vivid ruby color with a dark purple tinge. The nose is elegant, displaying aromas of blackberry and blueberry with hints of oak and cinnamon. This wine is smooth on the palate, with red fruit flavors, good structure and a long finish.
Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2011 – 92 points – The Tasting Panel
"A dense, velvety Super Tuscan with earth, spice and ripe plum and cassis; rich, complex and multi-dimensional."
Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2011 – 92 points – Wine Spectator
"Offers blackberry, plum and blueberry flavors, tinged by tobacco and mineral notes. Still firm and unyielding on the finish, so enjoy with grilled meats or cellar for additional time."
Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2011 – 90 points – vinous
“Volpaia's 2011 Balifico is open, expressive and generous, with plenty of textural depth, but less in the way of pedigree. Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, menthol, licorice and herb nuances open up nicely in the glass.”
Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2011 – 94 points – jamessuckling.com
"This is a red with depth and texture, lots of silky tannins and bright fruit. Full-bodied along with currant and cherry undertones that make this very intense. From organically grown grapes. A blend of cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese."