Vignamaggio, “Monna Lisa” Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 (about $45)

Italian Wine for april, 2021

Vignamaggio, or more formally Villa Vignamaggio, is an organic wine estate near Greve-in-Chianti in the heart of the Chianti Classico zone. The estate itself has a long history dating back to the early 15th century that includes an intimate connection with the Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. It was here at Vignamaggio that Leonardo in 1517 immortalized Lisa Gioconda, aka Mona Lisa, the noblewoman whose family owned the Vignamaggio estate and where she spent most of her childhood.

The “Monna Lisa” Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is the estate’s flagship wine and its name pays homage to the estate’s iconic ancestor. The wine is classified as a Gran Selezione (Grand Selection), a relatively new level of Chianti Classico DOCG wine that resides at the top of the Chianti Classico quality pyramid. Officially approved in February 2014, Gran Selezione wines must be made exclusively with grapes from the estate's own vineyards and meet increased requirements for alcohol (minimum Vignamaggio's 2015 Monna Lisa Chianti Classico Gran Selezione13 percent), extract (minimum 26 grams per liter) and ageing (minimum 30 months that includes a minimum 3 months in the bottle).

Vignamaggio’s “Monna Lisa” Gran Selezione is only produced in the best vintage years and since 2015 was one of the best Chianti vintages in years it easily made the cut.

The wine is a blend of 85 percent Sangiovese with the remaining 15 percent a combination of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, all hand-selected from the estate’s prime vineyards. The wine is aged for 24 months in a combination of French oak barriques and large casks and 6 months in the bottle before release for sale. Alcohol content is 14.5 percent.

The 2015 Monna Lisa Gran Selezione has an intense ruby red color and a gentle swishing of the glass offers up Chianti Classico’s benchmark enticing red fruit and floral aromas. It is medium to full-bodied with good definition and structure supported by Sangiovese’s traditional spirited acidity. This richly-textured red has good mouthfeel with a deep core of black cherry and currant flavors that smoothly segue into a lengthy, assertive finish.

It is a generous and engaging wine that’s a pleasure to drink from start to finish.


©Richard Marcis
April 10, 2021

To see reviews of other selected wines of the month, see Wines of the Month.

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