Press / Ghiaccio Forte Morellino di Scansano

2017

The Wine Advocate

91 PTS

I have an admitted soft spot for the wines made by Filippo Chia and his family, from their estates in Scansano and Montalcino. I love the hipster retro Italian esthetic of the packaging and the enormous story-telling opportunities that each wine affords, and that Filippo so passionately narrates to those who give him their ear. I hear his voice when I taste his wines. The Tenuta Ghiaccio Forte 2017 Morellino di Scansano Ghiaccio Forte depicts a little Etruscan statue head on its front label. The backstory here is that a tractor fell into an ancient Etruscan tomb while ripping the land, and that tiny clay statue was discovered inside. This part of southern Tuscany is honeycombed with Etruscan tombs. A blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Syrah, this wine is rich in power and personality, and it transports you to this relatively undiscovered and wild part of Italy. Winemaking is executed in stainless steel only. The bouquet is redolent of blackberry and plummy fruit, and there is an interesting, albeit vaguely carbonic element to the bouquet. There are clear elements of candied fruit and crushed white pepper. The mouthfeel is rich, without being too heavy, and that firm tannic bite on the finish hints at the difficultly in obtaining balanced ripeness in this hot and dry vintage. The heat of the vintage was somewhat contained by the breezes that lift off the Tyrrhenian Sea not too far off in the distance. This 2017 expression is a bit more rugged and rustic overall, so I would recommend a dish of similar personality like the Maremma favorite, tagliatelle al rag├╣ di cinghiale. Some 25,485 bottles were made. Tenuta Ghiaccio Forte is the Scansano (southern Tuscany) property owned by the Chia family of Castello Romitorio. Normally, I would avoid putting a Morellino into my Montalcino report, but these samples arrived together following a series of logistically challenging hurdles. There seemed to be little point in waiting to publish this review when it is ready to go live now. This estate is bordered by the Albegna River in the southwest part of the Morellino di Scansano appellation. The site sits near an ancient Etruscan settlement also named Ghiaccio Forte. The wine growing area sees two distinct climatic areas. First, you have hillside vineyards at about 200 meters above sea level. Second, you have mid-hill vineyards at about 100 meters above sea level. Both see south and southeast exposures. The estate vines were planted in 1999 with clones of Syrah, Petit Verdot and Sangiovese brought over from the family's Montalcino estate. Monica Larner, 31st Jan 2020.