Of the six Arceno wines produced by New York-born winemaker Lawrence Cronin, I tasted the 2016 Strada al Sasso Chianti Classico Gran Selezione and the 2013 Arcanum Toscana.
Gran selezione is a category created by Chianti Classico producers in 2013. For consumers, it guarantees the wine is made from grapes of a single vineyard or best parcels of the estate and it is estate bottled. This guarantees the authenticity of the wine. Less important is the 30 months aging requirement—six more that the riserva category—and that the wine be at least 80 percent sangiovese.
In 2015, Arceno transitioned its Strada al Sasso riserva to gran selezione. The 2016 Strada al Sasso Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is pure sangiovese from its La Porta vineyard. Its New World heritage is evident in the pronounced fruit and oak aromas and flavors. Big and bold, this wine will appeal to those who aren’t interested in subtleties. 88 points. Expect to pay about $50 when released to the market.
The 2013 Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum blends 73% cabernet franc, 17% merlot and 10% cabernet sauvignon, then aged for a year in 80% new French oak barrels. What arrives in the glass is a polished, concentrated wine of black fruit, olive and chocolate aromas, and flavors with little to link it to Tuscany. Well made and from an excellent vintage. 92 points. Retail prices range from $75 to $100.
These wines show Tuscany’s historic and new families producing wines for traditional and new audiences.
Photos by John Foy