The Azienda Agricola Il Borghetto do things differently in this most well known and established region of Italy.
Led by English winemaker Tim Manning who cut his vinous teeth in vintages in Oregon, there is a determination to show the potential of the region. As a result he is at odds with the Consorzio of Chianti Classico over his methods and approach.
All the daily operations are keenly overseen by the owner, Antonio Cavallini with the help of long-term collaborator Tim Manning, a British oenologist who has worked extensively with Pinot Noir in New Zealand and above all, in Oregon. There are about twenty or so small blocks of Vineyard at Il Borghetto, each differing slightly from the other, be it in grape variety or clone, or a difference in soil type and slope aspect. They treat each one as a separate entity so that their individual characters can contribute a particular something to the final blend. The Vineyard and winery were Certified organic from 2018 although the winery has been run organically since 2008. Biodynamic practices, but without certification, as yet. Minimal tilling; covercrop and manure as fertiliser. Vines trained cordon-spur.
Bilaccio is a barrel selection of the best Sangiovese made after the wine has aged for at least 14 months. Harvest by hand. Each block is fermented, pressed, racked and aged separately. Use of whole cluster up to 40%. Natural yeast. Hand plunged; no pump-overs. Long fermentation maceration - on average 40 days. Free-run and pressings kept together. Wines racked and barrelled down with minimal settling. No racking during ageing.
100% Sangiovese, this is a seductive wine. Sweet tobacco, dried herb, mint and dried red cherry notes are all laced together in this decidedly savoury wine. Delicate and lithe on the palate, open-knit and gracious, Bilaccio is a good example of Il Borgetto's distinctive house style.
Delightful with all the usual Tuscan dishes such as Bistecca alla Fiorentina, Arrista, but more generally with stewed red and game meats.
Robert Parker 92 Points
"The 2015 Bilaccio is bright, vibrant and clean with pure cherry and wild berry aromas that rise from the bouquet. The wine offers a mid-weight approach with a polished gleam and bright acidity. It is 100% Sangiovese from Montefiridolfi, a location in San Casciano Val di Pesa. The warm sunshine of the 2015 vintage has served to build up the wine's texture and density, although the overall effect remains streamlined and elegant nonetheless. It sees 18 months of oak. Production is 3,000 bottles and 300 magnums." ML, 92 Points, May 2019.