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Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico (1.5 L) 1998

Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    Grapes: Sangiovese 92%, Canaiolo 8%

    Color: Brilliant ruby red

    Bouquet: Compound, delicate and appealing

    Flavor: Dry, balanced, with a soft and elegant body

    Food matches: Red meat dishes and cheeses

    Critical Acclaim

    Castello di Querceto

    Castello di Querceto

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    Castello di Querceto, , Italy
    Castello di Querceto
    The François family, which settled in Tuscany in the 18th century, has owned the Castello di Querceto estate since 1897. Of French origin, the family has produced such illustrious personalities as Giuseppe François, a noted mathematician, and Alessandro, an expert on archaeology and the discoverer of important Etruscan works like the celebrated François Vase, which is now preserved in the Archaeological Museum in Florence. Castello di Querceto and the land surrounding it are fascinating places steeped in history. In the past, the castle, erected as a lookout point on the Via Cassia Imperiale, one of the principal arteries of the Roman period, helped to defend the immediate area. Today, encircled by the green of the forests and the hills, it seems as if it had been constructed purposely to protect the invaluable heritage of its vineyards and olive orchards. Vines and olives grow on both sides of the valley of the Dudda, from the Sugame Pass and, beyond Dudda, toward Lucolena and Mount San Michele, which reaches a height of 400 to 500 meters (1,312-1,640 feet).

    Argentina

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    Stretching from the Andes to Patagonia, Argentina's unique terroir lends to high quality wines. Formerly associated with inexpensive bulk wine but dramatically shifting focus from quantity to quality, Argentina is the most important wine-producing country in South America. Certainly excellent values abound here still, but increases in vineyard investment, improved winery technology, and a commitment to innovation since the late 20th century have contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains can be used to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

    Mendoza, a large and famous region responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white. The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.

    Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

    In the Glass

    Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

    Perfect Parings

    Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

    Sommelier Secret

    If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

    GLO5827111_1998 Item# 86194

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