The utterly distinctive Chianti Classico from Agricola Querciabella is made from grapes that are carefully selected in the vineyards and harvested in 8-kilo crates. They are destemmed, not crushed, after which they are conveyed into temperature-controlled stainless steel vats, where alcoholic fermentation and maceration take place. Macerations last about 12 days for the Sangiovese and up to 20 days for the other varietal.
After completing a full malolactic fermentation the wine is transferred into barriques. The oak is 100 percent French, and comes from Allier, Châtillon, Nevers, and Tronçais. It is 30 percent new and 70 percent one year old or two year old for the Sangiovese. It is 80 percent new for the other cépages. The various cépages undergo separate élevage. The wine is regularly racked and tasted during the whole barrel maturation, which may last up to 14 months. At the end of the élevage, the best lots are selected through extensive tasting, and they are assembled to create the final blend. After bottling, the wine rests for at least three months before release.
After bottling, the wine rests for at least three months before release. The wine is released around 18 months after harvest. Depending on the vintage, it may reach its maturity between two and four years after harvest. The plateau lasts at least 10 years after harvest.
"The 2008 Chianti Classico Querciabella is a very pretty, attractive wine laced with fragrant red fruit. This is a finely knit, small scaled vintage of the Querciabella with beautiful balance and a long, harmonious finish. A beautifully delineated, crystalline finish rounds out this wine that shows the more delicate, Burgundian side of Sangiovese. I hope readers can appreciate just how hard it must have been to make a wine of this level from biodynamically farmed vineyards with minimum intervention in the very challenging 2008 harvest. The Querciabella is 95% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2016.
The Wine Advocate
"Deep red-ruby. Balsamic black plum, sweet milk chocolate and coffee liqueur aromas on the captivating, mineral-accented nose. Then fleshy and ripe in the mouth, with more spicy black plum, herb and coffee flavors. Finishes soft and smooth, with a trace of finishing heat. Well done, if on the ripe side."
International Wine Cellar