Overview of the Wine
The estate of San Giusto a Rentennano has undergone many transformations over the course of its history, with an inaugural period as a medieval monastery (San Giusto alle Monache). Its vocation changed drastically in the 9th century, when the Florentines adapted the structure for protection against the Sienese, equipping it to serve as a fortress. (Florence and Siena were engaged in a centuries-long battle, reaching a resolution only in the 15th century.)
The Ricasoli family of Chianti Classico fame (Baron Bettino Ricasoli authored the original formula for Chianti in 1874) presided over the estate for several centuries, with Enrico Martini di Cigala assuming ownership in 1957. It is presently overseen by three of Cigala’s children—Franceso, Luca, and Elisabetta. The estate—which is situated in the Gaiole zone of the Chianti appellation—comprises 160 hectares, 30.5 of which are planted to vines, and benefits from a microclimate marked by a dramatic fluctuation between day and night temperatures.
Percarlo—a monovarietal Sangiovese—debuted with the 1983 vintage and currently enjoys status as San Giusto a Rentennano’s most renowned bottling. It derives from low-yielding vines representing six cru sites that feature ancient soils of sand and stone, and a clay foundation. As Percarlo is crafted as a wine of considerable concentration, the grapes utilized ripen beyond the mature stage. Its stylistic orientation is born out further through the vinification regimen, which entails a fairly extensive maceration of 18 days, followed by barrique aging for a period of 20 to 22 months. It is bottled unfiltered and ages for an additional 6 months in bottle prior to being released. With peers such as Flaccianello and Cepparello, Percarlo operates in Sangiovese’s cult realm. Its minute production level (approximately 1,600 cases per year) derives, in part, from a highly regimented grape selection process: In some vintages, the entire grape production is deemed unfit.
Grape / Blend
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Percarlo is made from 100% estate grown Sangiovese grapes, especially selected bunch per bunch, from the best zones of our vineyards, which have a low yield of 1 Kg grapes per vine.
98 Points - Vinous (2015)
The 2015 Percarlo, the estate's 100% Sangiovese, towers in the glass with huge, dark fruit to match its powerful, vertical structure. Ample and expansive on the palate, with huge textural depth, the 2015 is a total stunner. The darker, more muscular side of Sangiovese emerges in this gorgeous, absolutely stunning wine. Black cherry, lavender, spice and smoke overtones fill out the wine's big frame effortlessly. Proprietor Luca Martini di Cigala aged the 2015 in a combination of cask and tonneau. The 2015 Percarlo is a riveting wine readers will not want to miss.
97 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2015)
The 2015 Percarlo is a sassy and bright wine with great purity and definition. This is the full package for all you Sangiovese lovers out there. The wine is round and slightly soft in the middle, owing a lot to that 2015 sunshine. A deeply etched and sophisticated expression, the Percarlo takes a little while to open in the glass: This review is based on my impressions from two tasting, one right after the bottle was opened and a second about 12 hours later. Ultimately, the wine presented a 360-degree perspective onto Sangiovese, with the freshness, the softness and the succulence that you are looking for in the grape and plenty of those variety-pure aromas of purple berry, wild rose and tilled earth. The way the wine impacts the palate is of particular interest because you get fullness and extraction that is all magically rendered light and buoyant thanks to that crisp acidity.
96 Points - James Suckling (2015)
29 Jul, 2019 – Very pretty blackberry, tea-leaf, cedar and chocolate aromas and flavors here with medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and an attractive finish. Pure Sangiovese pleasure.
95 Points - Wine Spectator (2015)
Rich, with black currant, plum, iron, earth, tobacco and tar aromas and flavors, backed by vibrant acidity and fine tannins. This leaves plenty of room for the flavors to stretch out. Harmonious, with the potential to age. *Highly Recommended*
97 Points - Vinous (2012)
One of the highlights of the vintage, the 2012 Percarlo boasts striking depth and nuance. All of the richness and intensity of the vintage is present, but there is a crystalline purity to the 2012 that is impossible to miss. Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, mint and brisk saline notes wrap around the striking, deeply expressive finish. The 2012 is perhaps not as explosive or concentrated as Percarlo can be, but instead there is an element of translucence in the fruit that is incredibly inviting. My impression is that the 2012 will develop along the lines of some of the more finessed Percarlos in the estate's history. What a gorgeous wine this is.
96 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2007)
The 2007 Percarlo flows across the palate with tons of depth and richness. It is one of the few Tuscan 2007s that hasn’t been too distorted by the heat of the year. There is plenty of Sangiovese nuance in this large-scaled, voluptuous wine. All the elements are very nicely balanced in the 2007. This isn’t a huge, structured vintage of Percarlo, but in exchange the wine should drink well earlier than some of the more powerful surrounding vintages, namely 2006 and 2008. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.
91 Points - Wine Spectator (2007)
A powerful red, showing black currant and cherry flavors, with a sleek outer layer of spicy oak. Fresh and vibrant, with a solid structure and a long, fruit- and spice-filled finish. Best from 2014 through 2023.
Product size: 750ml
From a private seller.