Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2015
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)
- Composition: 65% Sangiovese, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 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: Average is 20-25 years old (ongoing planting since the 1980s)
- Elevation: Sangiovese: 470 meters (1,542 feet); Cabernet Sauvignon: 450 meters (1,475 feet)
- Training: Sangiovese: Guyot; Cabernet Sauvignon: Cordon spur
The 2015 growing season was very warm. Beginning in May, the growth cycle of the grapevines began 10 days earlier than any time in our recorded vinicultural history at the winery. The month of July presented a very hot period, including record heat throughout all of Italy. This hot and dry condition resulted in vineyard hydro-stress, which accelerated the verasional development in the grape clusters. Temperatures remained very high during August and September with minimal days of rain. This warm late summer and early fall period guaranteed
fantastic ripening and produced outstanding quality.
- Harvest Date(s): Sangiovese: October 2; Cabernet Sauvignon: October 9
- Barrel Aging: 18 months in new French oak
- Production Case Pack: 6/750ml
- Alcohol: 14%
- TA: 5.22 g/L
- RS: 1.2 g/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.
Castello di Volpaia Toscana Balifico – 2015 – James Suckling – 92 Points
A decadent nose showing dried herbs, underbrush, black-cherry compote, mulberries, dark chocolate, mocha and cigar box. Full-bodied and very intense with chewy tannins and loads of dark-fruit flavors. Fruit-forward but remains in tune. Drink in 2021.
Castello di Volpaia Toscana Balifico – 2015 – Wine Spectator – 93 Points
This is vibrant, saturated with blackberry, black cherry, iron, earth and tobacco flavors. A solid structure lends support and the finish is long. Shows terrific harmony and texture. Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2020 through 2033.