Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2016
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 year began with an initially hot then rainy Spring up until the middle of June,followed by a hot and dry Summer causing seriously drought-stressed vines. Heavy rain in the middle of September , followed by a drop in temperature has helped the grapes mature perfectly.
- Harvest Date(s): Sangiovese: October 9 Cabernet Sauvignon: October 12
- Barrel Aging: 18 months in new French oak
- Varietal Composition: 65% Sangiovese, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Production Case Pack: 6/750ml
- Alcohol: 14%
- TA: 5.4 g/L
- RS: 0.8 g/L
The Balifico has 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 is a smooth wine with good structure and a long finish tasting of red fruit.
Castello di Volpaia Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2016 – Wine & Spirits – 93 Points
From 20-25 year old vines planted in the sandstone soils of Volpaia's Balifico vineyard, this marries sangiovese's bright red-cherry flavors with the dark, leafy tannins of cabernet sauvignon (35 percent of the blend). The wine aged in French oak barrels for 18 months, gaining subtle spice notes and pleasant savory tones.
Castello di Volpaia Balifico, Toscana IGT — 2016 – Wine Spectator – 94 Points
A rich, fluid style, boasting black cherry, black currant, violet and leather flavors. Supple, yet firmly structured, with dense tannins emerging on the long finish. This needs a year or two to come together fully and should age beautifully. Best from 2021 through 2035.
Castello di Volpaia Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2016 – Vinous – 94 Points
The 2016 Balifico, Volpaia's blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, shows the estate at its very best. Espresso grilled herbs, plum, licorice, leather, menthol and spice open up effortlessly in a beautiful, resonant wine loaded with personality and sheer class. The tannins need time to soften, but there is plenty to like.
Castello di Volpaia Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2016 – James Suckling – 92-93 Points
A firm and silky red with blackberry and blueberry character. Medium to full body, fine and silky tannins and a fresh finish. Finesse as always. A blend of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon.