Published 20th October 2017
If Simon were asked to name the finest Tuscan Sangiovese with one eye on value for money, the Percarlo from San Giusto a Rentennano would be near the top of the list. If the value caveat was removed, Percarlo would still rank just as highly. he would argue this is among the finest of Tuscany’s Sangiovese. We are still surprised by the relative affordability it offers when compared to a whole host of more widely-touted Tuscan greats. We are offering the 2013 Percarlo, San Giusto a Rentennano at £335 per 6 bottle case in bond. Simon's offer, below.
This extensive estate, which has been in the hands of the Martini di Cigala family for nearly a century, lies at the southern end of the Chianti Classico region. The location has so much going for it; near ideal exposure overlooking the Arbia river, soils rich in mineral components and a very significant switch between day and night time temperatures. This latter feature is key in retaining valuable acidity and freshness of aromatics – a point I am well aware I have laboured before!
While the family produce a very good Merlot and a respectable Chianti Classico, I think the Percarlo represents a great leap up the quality ladder, the estate’s headlining, pure Sangiovese. Cultivated organically, yields are restricted and the fruit is allowed to go a fraction beyond the normal level of ripeness (something that will be familiar to those of you who follow the wines of Laurent Ponsot in Burgundy). Understanding the optimum moment for harvest is critical in producing fine wines of incredible consistency.
Even in tricky years where many Tuscan wines have struggled to deliver quality, Percarlo seems to come through with honours. This is surely in part due to the skilled team running the estate, but it also says plenty about the specific of this location. Percarlo represents the pinnacle of San Giusto’s production – all the fruit for this wine is selected bunch by bunch from the estate’s finest eight hectares. The 2013 now joins an enviable roll-call of vintages, although sadly only 2500 cases of six bottles were made. I am always struck by the wealth of fruit on show in Percarlo; layers of dark berry fruit, hints of creaminess from the oak elevage, sleek and fine-tuned. It is always the precision and finesse of tannin that surprises…this is a wine with considerable ageing potential in almost every vintage, yet it can be broached and enjoyed relatively early in its lifespan. In short, it is a superlative example of Tuscany’s greatest grape variety.
Please see Antonio Galloni’s note below.
2013 Percarlo, San Giusto a Rentennano
£335 per 6 bottle case in bond
98 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
A wine of extraordinary finesse, the 2013 Percarlo is utterly magnificent. Creamy and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2013 speaks to finesse more than the power and explosiveness that is often found here. With time in the glass, the mid-palate fleshes out and the flavors gain in intensity and darkness. When young, Percarlo is often forbiddingly tannic, but the gradual move towards larger format barrels and casks has, among other things, given the wine much more textural elegance. I can't wait to see how it ages. This is one of the most complete and strikingly beautiful wines of the vintage. Drink 2020-2038
Volumes are limited so please advise of your interest early to avoid disappointment.
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