In Falchini’s “Paretaio”, you can observe how the winery makes prudent use of barrique aging to enhance the best characteristics of carefully-selected Sangiovese. The result is an elegant, harmonious wine with a balanced, velvety palate. It is produced from grapes grown in the Paretaio vineyard in San Gimignano, around 95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot. The wine spent 12 months in small French oak barrels, then 12 months in bottle prior to release.
While Falchini’s approach nods to the Super Tuscan model, the result is neither over-ripe nor overblown. This is classic Sangiovese: animal, leather, and tobacco on the nose, with elegant mouth-filling cherry on the palate and lifted acidity. A late note of licorice continues through the finish. The Merlot rounds out the palate and deepens the cherry core. This is a classic, beautifully-structured wine that should appeal to those who enjoy quality Chianti and Vino Nobile. It also happens to be a steal.
Michael Apstein had the following to say about the 2011 vintage, though we feel the note well defines this wine in any year: “A steal. Let me repeat — this wine is a steal. Falchini is perhaps best known for their lovely Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Vigna a Solatio, [which] is another steal, but that’s another story. Their Paretaio, a Super Tuscan in everything but the price, could easily become their calling card. A blend of Sangiovese (90%) and Merlot and aged in French barriques for 18 months, it certainly follows the recipe for a Super Tuscan. But unlike so many of the so-called Super Tuscans, this wine is not over ripe, sweet or redolent with oak. It’s a balanced amalgam of earth, minerals and dark cherries wrapped in suave tannins and brightened by uplifting Tuscan acidity. Savory and long, at the risk of repeating myself, it’s a steal!”