This 470 hectare estate is located northeast of Siena in the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga, on the southern border of the Chianti Classico zone. Fèlsina epitomises the powerful style of southern Chianti, where the wines are stylistically more akin to those from Montalcino than their fellow Chianti from Fontodi or Isole e Olena. Domenico Poggiali bought the estate in 1966. Giuseppe Mazzocolin, son-in-law of Domenico entered the family business in late 1970s and played a significant role in the growth of the winery. Since 1990 Giovanni Poggiali, Domenico's grandson, has joined the management and continues his grandfather's enterprise with the same passion. Giuseppe Mazzocolin is now less involved in the running of the estate, and consultant oenologist Franco Bernabei is very much at the helm of the winemaking team.
The grapes are grown on vineyards covering 4.72 hectares of Chardonnay vines. The training system is Guyot, with 8-14 buds per vine, planted at a density of 5,400 per hectare. Cluster thinning takes place in July in order to reduce yields and increase concentration. The vineyards are situated at approximately 370 metres above sea level and face south/southwest. Soils are sandy with alluvial pebbles. Sistra (sistri) were ancient Egyptian musical instruments linked to the cult of Isis, goddess of agriculture and fertility. The instrument, popular with the Greeks, Romans, and Hebrews, consisted of a horseshoe-shaped frame struck by moveable rods, creating a sound very similar to the German Glockenspiel.
Along with 2015, Fèlsina will recall 2016 as one of the most beautiful vintages in the last decade. Winter was quite mild and characterised by abundant rains. Very few days registered minimum temperatures below 0°C. The first days in April were hot and brought about an early bud burst, almost 10 days earlier than usual. May was a regular month except for a thunderstorm with a heavy hailstorm that by chance only caused a little damage. Summer was very hot with above-average seasonal temperatures, but scattered rains meant vines avoided heat stress. The grapes ripened very well.
Whole-cluster pressing yielded about 60% free-run must, which was then cold-settled and racked. The must then fermented in small barrels where it remained on the lees until March before blending. After blending, it continued to mature until July before bottling.
Deep straw yellow, I Sistri has a classic ripe-fruit Chardonnay nose, with a blend of tropical fruit and vanilla and appealing notes of spice. It displays elegant structure with a fresh acidity and a superb finish.