Andrew Guard

Castellina in Chianti

Fattoria di Rodáno lies off the beaten track; in location and also in the press but it is unquestionably a top source for classically made and complex Chianti. Located in Castellina in the heart of the Chianti Classico district, the estate dates back as a wine-producing property to the sixteenth century.

Rodáno has belonged to the Pozzesi family since that time. Vittorio Pozzesi had been in charge of the estate since they first began to bottle wine on their own in 1967 but now his son, Enrico, handles the management and winemaking. One of the reasons for the fantastic quality here is that the domaine’s former winemaker was Guilio Gambelli, who passed away in 2012. Gambelli was one of the most legendary winemakers in Chianti, consulting for such estates as Montevertine and Gianfranco Soldera. Rodáno is one of the best-kept secrets in all of Tuscany...

The style of the Rodáno Chianti bottlings is traditional, with Sangiovese playing a dominant role in all of the estate’s various bottlings. The Chianti Classico (a blend of 90% Sangiovese with 5% each of Colorino and Canaiolo) is aged entirely in large Slovenian “botte,” and the Riserva is a combination of these large casks and a small ammount of used barriques. Like all great traditional Sangiovese-based wines, the Rodáno wines show exceptionally lovely, bright acidity that adds freshness and focus on the palate. There is a liveliness and drive to these wines that resonates not only in the mouth but in all the senses; a very rare quality.

The heart and soul of their vineyard holdings is the beautifully situated vineyard of Viacosta, which is a perfect, south-facing bowl of old vines, that average between thirty-five and forty-five years of age. In top vintages, the Rodáno Riserva Chianti bottling is made from the Viacosta vineyard. In addition to Sangiovese, the Viacosta vineyard also has a small parcel of Cabernet Sauvignon planted here, which is used in the estate’s IGT bottling, called Mon Nene.

Rodáno farm organically and tends towards minimal intervention in the making of the wine.These are seriously wonderful, traditional Chianti brimming with succulent, earthy red cherries and gentle hints of tobacco. Medium-bodied and refreshing with glorious fruit on the palate and fine structure. A great discovery!

Written by Andrew Guard — October 10, 2017