Mazzei, Il Caggio Ipsus, 2018
Mazzei, Il Caggio Ipsus, 2018
- Red Still
Descended from the illustrious Marchesi Mazzei family, whose ancestors included Ser Lapo Mazzei who wrote the first recorded mention of Chianti wine in 1398, and Filippo, who was asked personally by President Jefferson to introduce vine growing to Virginia, current owner Giovanni’s ambition has always been to make a Sangiovese which rivals the finest wines of Tuscany, pushing the boundaries of Chianti Classico to heights never seen before. He found the terroir and vines to realise this ambition in the “Clos”, a 6.5ha prized vineyard planted in Il Caggio back in 2008, and with consistently sky high scores like these he is very much succeeding.
Last year Antonio Galloni boldly proclaimed that Ipsus “Very clearly [has] the potential to become one of Italy’s most important wines” and the consistently high scores being awarded are making many sit up and take notice.
What the critics say:
"Very perfumed with roses and other flowers. Spanish cedar, too. Medium-bodied with creamy and fine yet round tannins that go on for minutes. Super-fine texture. Juicy fruit. Succulent and so beautiful. Hard not to drink now. In fact, do. But it will age beautifully, too. Vineyards of 30 years or more. Drink or hold."
"Hitting the market now, the Caggio 2018 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Ipsus unfolds slowly in the glass to reveal dark fruit, cassis, spice, cured leather and pressed blue flowers. There is a touch of something exotic like a bay leaf or a hint of toasted cumin. The finish is silky and very smooth, and this wine is longer in terms of mouthfeel and more finely polished compared to the 2016 vintage that I tasted at the same time. Compared to 2016, this 2018 edition is aged for a slightly shorter time in tonneaux. It sees two months less of oak and a bit more time in cement vat. Also, the percentage of new wood was reduced from 100% to 80%. Fermentation is spontaneous with no added yeasts and submerged cap.
[...] On my second visit the next morning, I visited the Il Caggio vineyard that is located just down the hill from Castello di Fonterutoli. The 150-hectare property was acquired in 2006 and is entirely planted to Sangiovese. Within the greater Il Caggio area is a special site that measures only 6.5 hectares. This is where Mazzei's latest project, Ipsus, was born. Grapes are planted at a breezy 320 to 350 meters in elevation with southeast and southwest exposures. Clay schist is mixed with calcareous marl and alberese rock. Sangiovese clones were selected from the family's experimental vineyard. Farming at Il Caggio is organic. Thanks to special planning, the Il Caggio vineyard is recorded as absorbing five times as much CO2 as it produces.
In addition to the Il Caggio vineyards, a small winery was built to house the precious Ipsus production. The first vintage released was 2015. Ipsus sees spontaneous fermentations and 24 months in tonneaux (of which 70% to 80% is new), as well as a 15-hectoliter barrel. Experiments are being made to reduce the time in oak, and aging of the 2018 vintage was already shaved off by a few months. The wine also rests in cement and in the bottle before its release. There is a future plan to restore the little cluster of farmhouses that exists at Il Caggio for guest accommodation."