Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their May 2019 panel tasting of 2010 Chianti Classico (see blue link below).
Castello di Cacchiano was founded in the 10th century and has been in the Ricasoli family for over 1,000 years. The estate is situated near Gaiole in Chianti, some 20km north-east of Siena.
Winemaking at the estate dates back to the 12th century. Today, this estate consists of ~200 hectares with some 32 hectares dedicated to vineyards (with the remainder dedicated to olive oil production). The vineyards are situated some 400m above sea level with most slopes south-facing, being ideal for hard-to-ripen Sangiovese. The soil composition, which is made of calcareous clay with substantial portions of crumbled limestone and sandstone - Chianti's famous albarese soil - provides an excellent substratum for the cultivation of vines. Thanks to the soil and to the ideal microclimate, the vines are able to develop to their full potential.
Castello di Cacchiano produce about 120,000 bottles of wine annually. This wine saw production of ~6,400 bottles in 2010; now only ~300 remain at the castello.
This is the estate flagship and standard-bearer. It has been produced for many years since its inception (to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the estate), previously as a Riserva; however, its strictly estate-based production and extended ageing qualify it for the more stringent criteria of Chianti Classico's Gran Selezione (GS) classification, which was introduced in 2010 (this is the first vintage of the Millennio to bear the GS label).
The wine underwent a warm fermentation and was macerated on its skins for a period of 4 weeks to maximise tannin extraction. It was aged in a mixture of small oak barriques and larger tonneaux - both of French oak - for a total of 30 months. Total ageing before release was 5 years.
Tasting note: we would refer you to the Decanter review link above. We take Andrew Jefford's comments here:
"Very refined, mature aromas of meat stock, laurel and a touch of cream unveil a poised and graceful palate with bright-eyed acidity and deft tannins, contriving to give a sense of balletic energy. Enticing and mouthwatering, as well as very classic".