Tenuta di Arceno is quintessential Tuscany. Our property covers 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of rolling hills, lush green forests, ancient Cypress trees, sun-drenched fields, olive groves, vineyards and medieval stone castles. It’s not unusual to see wild boar roaming the property. The wines we produce are every bit as impressive as their origin. While clearly Tuscan in lineage, they possess a level of richness, concentration and character that is comparable to the world’s finest. In addition to our wines, we also craft an estate olive oil that is available in our tasting room. When wine entrepreneur Jess Jackson and Vigneron Pierre Seillan first visited Tenuta di Arceno in 1994, they immediately recognized the potential of this historic estate. Over the next two decades, our team replanted the vineyards into tiny micro-crus, updated the winery and elevated the viticulture and winemaking practices to first-class standards. Today, Tenuta di Arceno is widely considered one of the premier estates in the Chianti Classico region.
Twenty years is a mere blip of time in the winemaking world; vineyard efforts tend to unfold at a glacial pace, from new plantings to winemaking experiments, and the results are often best appreciated years later. Vigneron Pierre Seillan has been battling time for decades. He makes wine across two continents with projects in Sonoma (Vérité), Bordeaux (Château Lassègue) and Italy (Tenuta di Arceno). Right now, after twenty years of painstakingly replanting and restoring one of Chianti’s vineyard treasures, his work in Italy is hitting its stride—you can taste it in every bottle.
At Tenuta di Arceno, Seillan and his team initially focused on restoring the abandoned vineyards and replanting vines. Says Seillan, “almost everything was replanted.” Seillan also spent endless hours analyzing the soils and topography to fine tune and isolate the vineyard into small select blocks. “We eventually identified over 60 individual blocks, and then I knew we were in a good place. We wanted to be sure we received the full message of the terroir,” explains Seillan. Breaking a vineyard down into such small pieces is Seillan’s style. It may mean long, tiring hours of tasting through each lot, and dozens and dozens of small fermentations (as each lot is fermentedseparately), but this is how Seillan likes to do things. He is the conductor of a vineyard orchestra—cuing each individual micro-lot to play its part in the final blend. That kind of detail-driven intensity is hard to appreciate but easy to taste. His wines possess a kind of manic complexity, unfolding in all different directions, seducing you with fruit here, spice there, while polished pretty tannins play against exciting freshness and regal structure.
Seillan and his team, including winemaker Lawrence Cronin, craft six wines from the Arceno estate each year. In addition to planting Sangiovese, they also cultivate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot —-uncommon in the Chianti Classico region. The Arceno estate’s wild diversity of soil (from clay and sandstone, to basalt and hard schist) makes it an ideal template for so many different varietals. It also enjoys a diversity of elevations. And, Cronin notes, “the combination of soil and elevation gives these reds a higher vibrational energy, and a more minerally volatile edge,” than their Tuscan counterparts. Now is the time to enjoy the fruits of 20 year of labor— below are the Tenuta di Arceno wines to look for:
Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico DOCG
Unmistakably Tuscan in origin, offering a level of depth, power and concentration that is rare for its classification.
The fruit—mostly Sangiovese—comes from some of the coolest blocks at our estate, which accounts for the wine’s vibrant acidity.
The dominant flavors include plums, earth, cherries, licorice, and cedar.
RP90 ; Falstaff 93; JS92; Winescritic 91
Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva
Chianti Classico Riserva comes from some of the warmer, south-facing blocks at our estate.
It is composed almost entirely of Sangiovese and spends one year in small French oak barrels.
This is the epitome of modern Chianti with its dark color, pure fruit, balance, power and velvety tannins.
The dominant flavors include violets, plums, cherries, orange peel, earth, licorice, cedar and smoke.
RP92; Gambero Rosso Tri Biecchieri; JS93; Winescritic 94
Tenuta di Arceno Strada al Sasso Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Riserva
Strada al Sasso is our-flagship, single-vineyard, single-block Sangiovese.
Planted in 1998, this exceptional micro-cru is located in a wind-swept corner of our estate.
It features high-density spacing, careful matching of rootstocks and clones to the soils, and low yields.
This is the most intense, brooding, concentrated, complex wine we produce at Tenuta di Arceno.
The aromatics are saturated with dark fruit, dark-roasted coffee beans and violets.
The palate is dense and commanding with dried plums, nutmeg, earth, wet slate, firm acids and fine tannins.
While this wine drinks well in its youth, it is built to evolve and improve over the next decade or more.
RP93; JS94; JR18/20; Winescritic 94
Arcanum il Fauno IGT
il fauno di Arcanum is a blend of international varieties that embodies the diversity of the estate,
and is sourced primarily from the Arceno di Sotto, La Curva, Colombaio and San Giovanni blocks.
Located in the lower southwest section of the estate, in a warmer, exposed subsection that ripens early,
the soils possess a significant amount of clay, with good water retention, and produce wines that tend to be voluptuous and lush.
Arcanum Valadorna IGT
This Merlot-led blend is sourced primarily from the Valadorna and Capraia blocks,
which produce the estate’s most complex and mineral-based expressions of this variety.
The blocks are located within the cooler part of the estate, naturally irrigated by the stream that undulates through it,
and feature sandy brown soils and lower yields than typical.
These blocks are often the last Merlot blocks to ripen on the estate.
RP95; JS94; Gambero Rosso Tri Biecchieri
Arcanum Toscana IGT
Arcanum is the pinnacle of the estate’s Toscana IGT offerings.
Based on Cabernet Franc, the true signature of the estate, this remarkable wine is built to age yet is drinkable young,
offering aromas of violets, roses and raspberries, with long and delicate spice notes;
it is a wine that is seductive yet subtle. Arcanum is sourced primarily from the L’Apparita and Belvedere blocks of Cabernet Franc.
With superb exposure and sandy clay soils, each year these blocks shine to produce the finest expression of the variety, and the leading wine of the estate.
RP96+ ; JS91 ; Decanter 95
Growing up in New York City, Lawrence Cronin was always aware of his Italian heritage. His mother’s family goes back hundreds of years in the small town of Castellammare del Golfo, a picturesque fishing village on the northwest coast of Sicily. Visits to the old country during his youth made the relocation relatively seamless years later when Lawrence moved to Tuscany to make wine at Arceno.
Lawrence began his professional winemaking career in 1995 at Edmeades Winery in the Anderson Valley region of California’s rugged Mendocino County. Prior to joining Tenuta di Arceno, Lawrence also worked at a number of other prominent wineries worldwide including Firriatto in Sicily, Cloudy Bay in New Zealand, Cape Mentelle in Australia and Calina in Chile.
Lawrence was hired as the winemaker for Tenuta di Arceno in 2002. With guidance from Vigneron Pierre Seillan, he has helped elevate this historic estate into the upper tier of Tuscan producers.