Querciabella Chianti Classico 2005
After completing a full malolactic fermentation the wine is transferred into 100% French oak barrels. The Sangiovese barrels consist of 30% new and 70% one or two year old oak. The other blends' barrels consist of 80% new oak. Barrel maturation lasts up to 14 months and during that time the wine is regularly racked and tasted. At the conclusion of the maturation, the best lots are selected and assembled to create the final blend.
After bottling, the wine rests for at least three months before release. Depending on the vintage year, Chianti Classico reaches maturity between 2 and 4 years after harvest and the plateau lasts at least 10 years after harvest.
Founded in 1974, Querciabella enjoys the acclaim of the world’s most discriminating critics and consumers for wines such as Camartina, Batàr, Palafreno and Querciabella Chianti Classico. In its uncompromising pursuit of quality, sustainability and authenticity, Querciabella has continually honed its approach to biodynamic viticulture for over a decade. With vineyards located throughout Tuscany’s Chianti Classico and Maremma areas, Querciabella exemplifies the mindful preservation of tradition through forward-thinking, albeit completely natural, winemaking.
With 183 acres of prime Chianti Classico vineyards – located in the municipalities of Greve, Panzano, Radda and Gaiole – in addition to 79 acres in Maremma on Tuscany’s unspoiled Etruscan coast, Querciabella’s holdings represent the largest extensions of biodynamically farmed (certified organic) vineyards in Italy, contributing extraordinary biodiversity to local and surrounding ecosystems and serving as a sanctuary for thriving numbers of honeybee colonies.
One of the first wine regions anywhere to be officially recognized and delimited, Chianti Classico is today what was originally defined simply as Chianti. Already identified by the early 18th century as a superior zone, the official name of Chianti was proclaimed upon the area surrounding the townships of Castellina, Radda and Gaiole, just north of Siena, by Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany in an official decree in 1716.
However, by the 1930s the Italian government had appended this historic zone with additonal land in order to capitalize on the Chianti name. It wasn’t until 1996 that Chianti Classico became autonomous once again when the government granted a separate DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) to its borders. Ever since, Chianti Classico considers itself no longer a subzone of Chianti.
Many Classicos are today made of 100% Sangiovese but can include up to 20% of other approved varieties grown within the Classico borders. The best Classicos will have a bright acidity, supple tannins and be full-bodied with plenty of ripe fruit (plums, black cherry, blackberry). Also common among the best Classicos are expressive notes of cedar, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic or tobacco.
The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Italy's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino
Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and on the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed success growing in California and Washington.
In the Glass
Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.
Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.
Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.