The Chianti Classico event, held in Milan, at the end of 2021 proved to be the right opportunity to get to know and appreciate Principe Corsini’s wines, a historic Tuscan winemaker active in two production sites: Villa Le Corti, in San Val di Pesa, in the province of Florence and Tenuta Marsiliana, which is located in Manciano, in the province of Grosseto.
The wine tasted today comes from Villa Le Corti. The property is located in the furthest northern municipality of the Chianti Classico’s Appellation, about 20 km from Florence, and stretches over 230 hectares of which almost 50 are dedicated to the vineyards and another 63 have been designed for the cultivation of olive trees. The remaining area is deliberately covered by woods to encourage the biodiversity of the area.
Villa Le Corti has been owned by the Corsini family since 1363. The potential of this estate was immediately understood being strategically positioned near Florence with land of such suitable quality for viticulture and olive oil production. At the beginning of the 17th century, the villa was completely renovated, paying particular attention to the cellars which were organised on three levels under the building and the surrounding areas.
Since 1992, the company has been managed by Duccio Corsini who decided to use the new brand Principe Corsini from the 1993 harvest onwards, with other Important changes following this. Since 2014, a conscious approach that is compliant with the vegan philosophy, which excludes the use of clarifying agents of animal origin, has been followed in the cellar. Since 2015, the company has taken a further step towards environmental sustainability and has chosen to follow the rules of organic farming for the management of the vineyards. The outcome of these choices is the production of a Chianti Classico of absolute quality, able to reflect the region of origin, but at the same time being respectful of the environment and the rhythms of nature.
ZAC is the acronym of Zia Anna Corsini, to whom the wine is dedicated, and it was the loving nickname used for the sister of Prince Tommaso Corsini by nephews and great-grandchildren. Prince Tommaso Corsini took part in the drafting of the Constitution of the Italian Republic and took part in the modernisation of agriculture in Tuscany and Umbria.
ZAC is 100% Sangiovese coming from the Gugliaie cru (2.5 hectares), located in San Casciano in Val di Pesa. The vineyard stretches over a hilly area with gentle and long slopes, facing the south at an altitude of about 270 metres above sea level. The soil is quite deep, fresh and fertile, of marine origin with well-defined presence of clay and siliceous pebbles. The mean age of the vines is 20 years old and they are cordon trained spur pruned, with the planting density being about 5,400 plants per hectare. As anticipated, the vineyard is managed according to the principles of organic viticulture, which bans the use of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic chemical fertilisers.
ZAC was born with the aim of achieving qualitative excellence. Spearheading the production of Villa Le Corti, this wine is produced from the 2008 harvest, marketed as I.G.T. Toscana Rosso until 2015. In 2016, to honour the 300th anniversary of the Cosimo de’ Medici’s edict, that established the boundaries of the Chianti appellation for the first time, it was decided to name the wine after the appellation Chianti Classico D.O.C.G Gran Selezione.
The Gran Selezione classification is reserved exclusively for wines with excellent organoleptic characteristics that must be produced from a single vineyard, or from a selection of the best grapes exclusively owned by the estate. The wine has to undergo a minimum ageing of 30 months, of which 3 months has to be spent in the bottle.
The harvest takes place when the grapes are perfectly ripe. The grapes are fermented using selected indigenous yeast, in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks (28° C), for 16 days. A semi-automatic punching-down system allows optimal cap management and the extraction of color, tannin and aromatic compounds that characterise the aroma profile of the wine.
The focus of the different vinatges of this vertical tasting followed slightly different maturation processes:
- 2013 – 18 months in French oak casks follwed by 8 months in the bottle;
- 2015 – most parts of the wine spent 16 months (minimum) in used barriques followed by 12 months in the bottle;
- 2016 – most parts of the wine spent 18 months in used barriques followed by 12 months in the bottle.
ZAC – Chianti Classico D.O.C.G – Gran Selezione – 2016
- Look: clear, medium ruby colour.
- Smell: medium (+) aroma intensity, with red fruit aromas (redcurrant, cherry, red plum, cranberry), citrus fruit (blood orange peel), black fruit aromas (blueberry and blackberry), spicey notes of black pepper and liquorice, and hints of tobacco on the finish.
- Taste: dry, medium (+) acidity, high coarse tannin, high alcohol. The wine has medium (+) body with medium (+) flavour intensity and a long finish.
- Pairing: roe deer with black pepper sauce.
ZAC – I.G.T. Toscana Rosso – 2015
- Look: clear, medium ruby colour with garnet reflections.
- Smell: medium (+) aroma intensity, with red fruit aromas (cranberry, sour cherry, red plum), citrus fruit (blood orange peel), black fruit aromas (blueberry and blackberry), herbal notes of mint and eucalyptus, and hints of tobacco, chocolate and cloves on the finish.
- Taste: dry, medium (+) acidity, high fine-grained tannin, high alcohol. The wine has medium (+) body with medium (+) flavour intensity and a long finish.
- Pairing: Chianina beef stew.
ZAC – I.G.T. Toscana Rosso – 2013
- Look: clear, medium ruby colour with noticeable garnet reflections.
- Smell: pronounced aroma intensity, with citrus fruit (blood orange peel), black fruit aromas (blueberry and blackberry), herbal notes of mint and eucalyptus, and hints of liquorice, tobacco and chocolate on the finish.
- Taste: dry, medium (+) acidity, high smooth tannin, high alcohol. The wine has medium (+) body with pronounced flavour intensity and a long finish.
- Pairing: pork loin with berry sauce.
Produttore: Principe Corsini