Siepi – marrying Sangiovese and Merlot

The hamlet of Fonterutoli in Chianti Classico

A complete vertical of a Tuscan classic.

The Chianti Classico of the Mazzei family’s estate, nay village (see above), Fonterutoli outside Castellina in Chianti, is widely admired. And they of course also produce a Chianti Classico Riserva (Ser Lapo) and, now, no fewer than three Gran Seleziones: Vicoregio 36, Castello Fonterutoli and Badiòla.

But perhaps their most distinctive wine is Siepi, an IGT Toscana that they say is always an equal blend of Merlot (to raise the hackles of Francophobe Walter) and the local Sangiovese. It was conceived way back in the late 1980s as a single-vineyard wine, long...