Chianti Classico reaches maturity between two and four years after harvest and the plateau lasts at least 10 years after harvest.
The ideal service temperature for Chianti Classico is between 59°–64° F.
Wine Spectator - " #81 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2008
A rich, round wine, with plum and berry character and soft tannins. Full-bodied, with berry and dark chocolate character and a long finish. Juicy. Outstanding value. Drink now through 2012."
The Wine Advocate - "Gorgeous aromatics waft from the glass as the 2006 Chianti Classico Querciabella ... opens to reveal a super-elegant expression of fresh berries, flowers and tobacco. The plumpness of the fruit makes the wine very appealing today, but there is sufficient tannic clout to suggest at least medium-term aging potential. In recent years Quericabella’s Chianti Classico has established a new benchmark for finessed Chianti made in a contemporary style that nevertheless remains faithful to Sangiovese and the unique qualities of these sites. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2021."
Querciabella was founded in 1974 by Giuseppe Castiglioni, an avid collector of French wines and the owner of the largest collection of Louis Roederer Cristal throughout Italy. The property is now managed and owned by Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni who carries with him the fundamental philosophy of Querciabella. Cossia Castiglioni remarks “Querciabella is dedicated to producing among the finest Italian wines - as a winemaker and an avid collector, I believe that quality begins in the vineyard and with minimal intervention one can produce a wine that is truly a reflection of its terroir”. Querciabella wines are all estate bottled and made from selected grapes from the Southeast and Southwest facing vineyards located high on the hilltop of Ruffoli in Greve in Chianti.
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One of the most important wine regions in Italy, Tuscany is home to the cities of Florence and Siena, the districts of Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, and the wineries of Sassicaia, Tignanello and Ornellaia. Tuscany is also home to the indigenous Italian grape variety, Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
The most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the
1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass
of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
Parker gave this a good (91) rating. I found it a bit hard and closed-in. It needs 2-3 years of age. It will be a 91 and is well-made and certainly worth the price. Incidentally, I found it in the half-bottle at Chiaroscuro Restaurant in SF, at about $40. We did not order it because we already had tasted what we bought and thought it has not reached its prime. We liked the restaurant very much. They serve wonderful gnocchi. The chef, Alejandro Campatelli, is from Rome. We told him the gnocchi were the best since we had lunch at the Caffe Pantheon in Rome.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.