Selvapiana Video Tour: Erchi & Bucerchiale Cru vineyards

Cru Vineyard Tour at FATTORIA SELVAPIANA with Federico Giuntini

June 2021
Pontassieve, Chianti Rufina

There’s no need to remind you how much Fattoria Selvapiana has been dedicated to the Sangiovese grape, for decades … Already in 1979 Francesco Giuntini was producing a 100% Sangiovese from one single-parcel: Bucerchiale.
This Cru cuvée has led many winegrowers to think more about this Tuscan grape variety in their Chianti Rufina production.

In 2016, Selvapiana introduced a 2nd Cru, Erchi.  This year, when we decided to visit the Fattoria, we had in mind to to let Federico talk more about the richness and diversity of the wines he produces today with his son Niccolo, depending on the parcels from which the Sangiovese grapes come, depending on whether they are planted on different soils or in different microclimates.

Our only goal, to share with you …

Federico among his Sangiovese vines in Cru Vineyard ERCHI

Virtual Visit with Federico Giuntini

In the following video series, we have specifically recorded a these videos featuring Federico talking about his viticultural philosophies, his soils, and his beloved Cru vineyards – the historic Bucerchiale & the next generation, ERCHI.

The Series of short videos is divided into the following subjects:

– Fattoria Selvapiana’s Organic Practices 
– Viticulture & Soil Work Adapted for Climate Change
– Comparing Selvapiana’s Cru Vineyards : Bucerchiale & ERCHI
– Focus CRU Vineyard : Bucerchiale
– Focus CRU Vineyard : ERCHI
– 90+ pts James Suckling Scores – AUGUST 2021

Fattoria Selvapiana's Organic Practices

Federico presents his work at the estate, and more specifically in the vineyard, in the context of organic management and what he has had to change to adapt to climate change.

Fattoria Selvapiana started organic viticulture in 1992, quite early, when it was not yet common practice.
Using much less copper and sulphur than before, Selvapiana has added other treatments to its organic protection programme: bee propolis, orange peel oil, and a plant-based mixture that helps the vine to strengthen its own immune system. This allows them to reduce their copper and sulphur inputs.
In winter, they sow the inter-rows with a mixture of broad beans and other seeds for two main purposes: to enrich the soil and to decompact it. Selvapiana also mulches and keeps about 5-6 centimetres of mown grass to keep the soil moist and fresh.

Viticulture & Soil Work Adapted for Climate Change

The vineyard management is changing at the estate. They practice green harvesting much less, they try to delay maturation and consequently the dates of harvest.

Previously, the soil was all covered with vegetation; today, the soil is worked one row of every two, depending on the vintage. 

Comparing Selvapiana's Cru Vineyards : Bucerchiale & ERCHI

Despite having nearly identical viticultural and vinification practices of these two Iconic wines, Federico explains the comparative differences between Fattoria Selvapiana’s two Crus – Erchi & Bucerchiale.

Separated by 20 minutes from vineyard Bucerchiale, Erchi’s soil has less clay, more calcaire, with zones rich in iron. The vineyards are a little lower than Bucerchiale’s altitude, South East facing, Erchi is in a warmer environment compared to Bucerchiale.
Though the first Erchi release was millésime 2016, this parcel has a long history at Selvapiana. The Fattoria had rented neighbouring plots between 1993 – 1997, from Valentina Libri from Ceretta, so they knew the potential quality Sangiovese they could grow here.  When the parcel just next to it was available for sale, Selvapiana did everything possible to purchase it.

The wine from Erchi has more richness, more darker colour as well, more red berry fruit.  It’s a little like comparing in Chianti Classico, the wines from Castel Nuovo Berardenga, in the Southern part of the Appellation Chianti Classico – very similar to that part – and those from Selvapiana (Bucerchiale) which would be more similar to Gaiole.

CRU Focus : Bucerchiale

We follow Federico to the historical plot of the estate – Bucerchiale – where the Sangiovese vines that will produce the wine of the same name are planted.
The wine, Bucerchiale, has been produced since 1979. The estate was a true pioneer at the time, as it was rare – very rare – to produce Chianti from 100% Sangiovese only. In the Chianti Rufina appellation, Selvapiana was the first.

The Bucerchiale vineyard has different climate and geographical characteristics than Erchi: it’s breezy, cooler and at a higher altitude. The wine has less concentrated fruity notes, yet with hints of spice such as nutmeg and tobacco, that finishes with very fine tannins and fresh acidity on the palate.

CRU Feature : ERCHI

Federico takes us to the Sangiovese parcels that are harvested especially for the Cru ERCHI.
Acquired in 1998, Selvapiana planted the ERCHI vineyards in 1999 – 100% Sangiovese on three parcels.  ERCHI is inside an amphitheatre, locally called the “Conca d’oro” of Chianti Rufina – a unique microclimate and terroir inside the Rufina area.

James Suckling Scores Selvapiana 90+ Points!!

95 Points

Wow. What glorious aromas of pure fruit with black cherries and currants. Really floral, too. Orange peel and tangerines. Full-bodied with really focused, polished tannins that coat your mouth, yet remain fine and beautiful. Goes on for minutes. Drinkable now, but much better in 2023 when it will have softened and come together.

94 Points
Bucerchiale 2018

A very pure and beautiful red with cherry and strawberry. Subtle spice, such as nutmeg and cedar. Orange peel, too. Medium to full body. Firm, silky tannins melt nicely into the wine. Fresh and clean finish. A little tight at the end. A beautiful single-vineyard Chianti Rufina with structure. Drinkable now, but better after 2023, when it will have softened a little.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.