James Suckling 92
"A refined and pretty Chianti Classico with cherry, cedar and sliced bitter chocolate. Full body, ripe and round tannins and a tangy finish. A balanced and pretty red. Drink now." ~ J.S.
A dark, powerful wine, the 2011 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione possesses tons of depth. The warmth of the vintage is evident in the wine's slightly forward aromatics and sweet, overt fruit. For those reasons, I would prefer to drink the 2011 sooner rather than later. Black cherry, plum, licorice, mint and cloves shape the opulent, racy finish. This is an especially dark, unctuous style, but it works well. ~ Antonio Galloni
Wine Advocate 91
A pure expression of Sangiovese, 2011 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Montebello Vigneto N. 7 struck me as one of the most authentic and territory-driven wines in this new, elite category at the top of the Chianti Classico pyramid. The wine stands out for the true sense of varietal character it presents. Soft cherry and cassis render a delicate side of the bouquet, while spice, grilled herb, smoke and pressed rose hold up the rear. This Grand Selezione offers a simple, streamlined palate with a pretty embroidery of aromatics that change and shift as the wine warms in the glass. It earns points for overall elegance and harmony.
Tolaini is on a tear, making some of the best wines representing the warmer Castelnuovo Berardenga subzone of Chianti Classico. A Grand Selezione has been added to Tolaini’s portfolio of Bordeaux and Tuscany-themed wines. ~ ML
Wine Spectator 92
Laced with balsamic aromas and juniper, sage, cherry, kirsch and tobacco flavors, this red is firm and complex. Fine length. ~ BS
Tolaini WineryView all from Tolaini Winery
The harvested grapes, once debunched, go through the optical selection machine where the grapes must meet the preset criteria to pass through: any small, green or squished grapes and all debris are ejected and only the ripe whole grapes make it into the vats. The vats are cooled to 5C-10C (41F - 50F) and the grapes are added whole to each tank for a cold soak before natural selected yeast strains are added to initiate fermentation. Vinification at Tolaini is done in 26 stainless steel temperature-controlled tanks with a two chamber system, while the best grapes from each harvest are fermented in open-top fermenters made of French Allier oak (12 units of 4500 liter capacity), a time-proven touch that increases the complexity in the wines. The generous array of tank sizes allows for individual parcels of grapes to be fermented and stored separately. These batches are kept apart through subsequent barrel aging in new French oak barrels between 18-25hl before blending.