Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2017
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)
- 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
A record year for heat and drought throughout the growing season. This condition presented extremes which led to early bud break in the vineyard followed by a spring frost during late April. The frost effected the lower portions of the Volpaia estate. Spring and summer months were dry with higher than average temperatures. Rainfall in mid-September helped the grapes achieve complete ripeness, tannins and other phenolic compounds, despite low yield.
- Harvest Date(s): Sangiovese: September 29th; Cabernet Sauvignon: September 29th
- 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: 1.1 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 – 2017 – James Suckling – 94 Points
A polished red with plum, chocolate and walnut aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied with soft, integrated tannins and a pretty finish. Another year or two will give it a little more finesse. From organically grown grapes. Try after 2021.
Castello di Volpaia Balifico, Toscana IGT – 2017 – James Suckling – 93-94 Points
Dusty texture to this young red with a plum and dark-berry character. Firm tannins and a focused finish. Solid. A blend of 65% sangiovese and 35% cabernet sauvignon. Made from organically grown grapes.