Terra di Seta keeps on crushing it with another great QPR wine – the 2015 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, Gran Selezione, Assai
Another week and another home run by Terra Di Seta. Last week I posted how the 2018 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico was a great QPR wine and this week it is the same story, different wine. This week we are talking about the 2015 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, Gran Selezione, Assai.
Many people know this wine as the Assai wine, but that is kind of like knowing Mike Trout as a baseball player and not one of the best, but really quiet, baseball players on the planet. The point here is that yes, Terra di Seta called this wine Assai, but it is a Chianti Classico Gran Selezione! This is not a simple or trifle matter. Sadly, this is the only kosher Chianti Classico, Gran Selezione, but thankfully, it happens to be a great wine, year after year, other than the 2012 vintage, which I was not a fan of.
Interestingly, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione only came into reality a few years ago, 2014 to be exact. Terra di Seta’s first Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, was in 2011, which was 30 months prior to 2014 when the new D.O.C.G designation came into reality. The rules for Chianti Classico Gran Selezione are simple. First, the vines have to be the best of the best of the winery’s vines that MUST be inside of Chinati Classicop’s region. Next, it must have aged in the cellar for 30 months. That does NOT mean the wine was aged 30 months in barrels, what it means is that it must lie in the cellar, whether in barrel or bottle for at least 30 months. Also, there are some non-kosher wines that have the Gran Selezione designation for wines made back in 2007 and maybe earlier. All it means is that the winery followed the requirements that meet the designation, even if the destination was not in effect at that time.
This wine may well have been released now, but please, I beg you not to drink it. It is not even close to being ready. I have the window opening in three years and I do not think it will be enough. It may require 2024 to be a good starting window. This wine is painfully young, the tannin, acidity, and overall structure, and yes, the fruit, are unbearable. I do not mind drinking young wines, but this wine scared me to no end. The fruit was so overbearing within the first 12 hours that it was shocking. My notes are all down below, you can clearly read how shocked I was. However, once the wine’s aromas and fruitiness calmed down, the brilliance of Chianti Classico came through. Beware of the drinking window PLEASE!
So, before, I sign off on this post and drop the score and wine notes, I will once again bring up the subject of QPR, a post that keeps on giving. These past two wine posts, both from terra di Seta, are the perfect examples for what QPR is all about, and how my new scoring system works.
The QPR wine of the last post, the 2018 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, is an 18 to 20 dollar wine, depending on where u get it. It scored a 92 to 93 while the 2015 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, Gran Selezione, Assai, will score a 93 – in the notes below. So, how will I logically give this wine a GREAT score for the QPR category, when the Assai clocks in at 45 to 50 dollars? Simple, they are not the same wines.
This is where QPR as a concept fails for many. Good news, I do not care. There are so many people out there attempting to force their opinion of QPR down other people’s throats. Some do not mind dropping 300 dollars for wine while others would think that is crazy and would buy a case of wine for that amount of money, while yet others would buy two cases of even cheaper wine. That is why I did NOT define my QPR score off people’s opinions of what is a fair price – that is illogical!
What I did was let the market define the score for itself! The prices are self-defined by the market for the given wine category. In this case, the wine category is a wine that can last for more than 10 years, therefore, the median price for that category is in the 75 dollar range (edited from 53 by mistake) and the median score is around 86. The 2015 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, Gran Selezione, Assai wins on both fronts. It is lower in price and higher in score than the median, so it gets a GREAT QPR score for its wine category.
I hope this allows some to get a better appreciation for the QPR score. It is NOT my opinion of what the price should be, nor my opinion of whether I would pay for that wine, it is the markets! If you do not like the market’s price – do not buy it! The whole point of QPR scoring is NOT to tell people what they should or should not buy, it is NOT! What it is there for is to SHOW people what the prices are for the given wine category and then let them decide if it is a good buy or not.
The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here and the explanation for QPR scores can be found here:
2015 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, Gran Selezione, Assai – Score: 93 (QPR: GREAT)
To start this wine is undrinkable, there is no way a person should buy this wine, open it, and enjoy it unless they like suffering. The nose on this wine starts off really ripe, with notes of black and red fruit, loads of tobacco, and smoke, with hints of dirt and not much else. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is rich, ripe, and layered, with blackberry, earth, dark sour cherry, blackberry, dark plum, roasted herb, smoke, loads of mushroom, and crazy cedar and oak, with layers of rich and mouth searing tannin, backed by good acidity, and more green and herbal notes. The finish is super long, dark, and brooding, with more tobacco, incredible leather, espresso, vinegar notes, and tar.
Finally, after 12 hours of air in the bottle, the wine is drinkable, I guess at least 5 hours of decanting would get us to the same place. Now, the nose is moving in the correct direction, I still think it needs more time, the nose now shows less of that ripeness and shows more of the dirt, earth, and tar, followed by dried meat, dark cherry, dried black fruit, with mint and oregano, and loads of smoke. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is now in line with what I expect from Terra di Seta Gran Selezione, these wines are oaky to start and now the oak has moved to the background, showing more elegance, with draping tannin, mouth searing acidity, all wrapped in a cacoon of coffee and chocolate, with layers of concentrated blackberry, dark plum, dried Kirsche cherry, with loads of dirt, mineral, and lovely spice and roasted green notes all showing in a plush and elegant mouthfeel. The finish is super long, green now, with a clear backbone of dark fruit, smoke, smoked meat, mushrooms that show with time, lapsang souchong tea/soy sauce, and lingering graphite and dirt, really incredible wine. Drink from 2023 until 2031 (it may need even more time to enter the drinking window).
Posted on May 4, 2020, in Kosher Red Wine, Wine and tagged Assai, Chianti Classico, Gran Selezione, Terra di Seta. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
Hi David. Thanks for you wonderful posts!
I’m a little confused about the QPR 2.0 system;
1) does price range factor in at all, or does each category encompasss every price for anything in that category? Are the Assai, Leoville Poyferre in that same category (11+ years reds) despite the 5x or more price difference? Some categories may seems to have a lot of range. Is that how the median can be only $53 for a category containing such expensive wines?
2) especially for short and long ageable reds, aren’t there many “gray area” bottles that could tilt either way or change the median price depending on which category they fit? Without knowing what else is in a given category, it’s hard to know what each wine is being compared to.
Thanks for helping me out with this, and all the best!
Yes, I think you are correct, my mistake, and I think it is based upon your second question. There are wines that straddle this magical 10+ year line do add to the confusion. With that said, the median is more like 75 than 53. Have a good day
Any thoughts on the 2013 vintage?
It is in the drinking window now for another two or so years. I do not have crazy drinking windows as others, I like my wines more youthful with tannin and fruit