Castello di Volpaia

Tuscany, Italy

Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2012

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  • Introduction

    • 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).

  • Vineyard Profile

    • 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
  • Vintage Report

    • The 2012 summer was one of the hottest and driest seasons we’ve ever had in Volpaia, possibly in all of Tuscany. Temperatures were often well over the seasonal average. Rains that were abundant in the spring suddenly disappeared for the rest of the season, causing a hydro-stress to the plants. Rainfall at the beginning of September, followed by a period of good weather, permitted a good trend of ripeness. Yields were very low.

    • Harvest Date(s): October 16
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 65% Sangiovese, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Alcohol: 14.5%
    • TA: 5.3g/L
  • Tasting Notes

    • 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.

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Reviews

  • Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2012 – 4.25 stars – Opening a Bottle

    "A wine of pronounced power and nuance, the “Balifico” comes out of the bottle like a tiger, with forceful aromas of concentrated cherry, bitter vanilla, violets and slate. This wine sees 18 months in new French oak, and it shows with a substantial dryness. It is fairly tannic, yet surprisingly supple on the palate at the same time. Concludes with a peppery, tobacco-like finish."

  • Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2012 – 91 points – Wine & Spirits

    "...The wine displays an earthy, mineral character, mingling notes of crushed gravel and leafy tobacco with flavors of dark chocolate, licorice and spice. The tannins feel firm and a little chunky on the finish..."

  • Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2012 – 90 points – Wine Enthusiast

    “…organically farmed—this polished red opens with aromas of black-skinned fruit, violet and Mediterranean herb. On the full-bodied palate, tobacco and aniseed accent a core of ripe black cherry, while firm tannins provide support.”

  • Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2012 – 90 points – RobertParker.com

    “… The wine reveals extra softness and fruity succulence with sweet flavors of jammy fruit and dark cherry. The mouthfeel is layered, rich and softly textured…”

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