Chianti has long been plagued by low quality, generic wines made by large commercial producers who flex their muscles by shaping appellation rules. But there is a renaissance afoot! An…

Chianti has long been plagued by low quality, generic wines made by large commercial producers who flex their muscles by shaping appellation rules. But there is a renaissance afoot! An emergence of terroir-driven, 100% Sangiovese wines, without excess ripeness or oak, are leading Chianti into a new era. Combined with one of the greatest modern-day vintages, we are super excited to offer the Querciabella 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva which is a must-buy for Italian wine lovers.

With vineyards in Greve, Radda and Gaiole, flanked by a mighty oak forest, the Querciabella winery was founded in 1974. It was one of the first organic wineries in Italy and was converted to biodynamics in 2000. ‘[This is a] super-classic, mid-weight style,’ says Antonio Galloni, ‘a signature of the Querciabella house style today.’ The star winemaker, Manfred Ing, is South African (of course) and has been ‘asserting his influence at Querciabella since 2010’ according to Greg Sherwood MW, who confirms, ‘it is indisputable that the wines have jumped in quality.’

2016 is turning out to be one of the great vintages in northern and central Italy, and Chianti is no exception. Galloni states: ‘A balanced growing season with no shock events produced a set of truly exceptional, highly promising wines. The 2016s are distinguished by their superb aromatic presence, silky tannins, layered fruit and fabulous sense of harmony.’

The 2016 Riserva is powerful, structured and remarkably pure. It will age well for 2 decades, especially in magnum. We also offer the 2017 Chianti Classico which is a more gentle, forward vintage, showing Sangiovese’s elegant but generous side.

Of the rest of their range, the 2018 Mongrana is a delightful, great value Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend. We also have small quantities of their 2015 Palafreno, a classic 100% Merlot from Greve, and 2016 Batàr, an unctuous, powerful Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay blend. Finally, Querciabella’s flagship 2015 Camartina is ‘flat-out stunning’ according to Galloni. It is an elegant blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon that competes with the best wines in Italy! Browse all the Querciabella wines.

Tasting notes:

Querciabella, Chianti Classico Riserva 2016
The 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva is an attractive wine built on aromatics and structure, with the fruit more in the background. It will be interesting to see if it fleshes out with more time in bottle. Sweet red cherry, lavender, rose petal, mint and spice gradually develop in the glass, but the 2016 remains quite reticent. It will be interesting to see if time in bottle brings out more depth. Today, the 2016 is decidedly shy. I very much like the energy here. Drinking window 2020 – 2036. Alc: 13.5%. – Antonio Galloni, Vinous, 93+/100

Querciabella, Chianti Classico 2017
The 2017 Chianti Classico is bright, floral and beautifully lifted, with lovely red berry and rose petal character. Pliant and supple, with terrific balance, the Querciabella 2017 is one of the more refined, restrained Chianti Classicos readers will come across in this vintage, with Radda very much driving the personality of the wine in its aromatic and red fruit profile. The 2017 finishes with terrific energy and nuance. This is the second vintage in which most of the wine was aged predominantly in 500L barrels and 30HL casks. Drinking window 2019 – 2032. Alc: 13.5%. – Antonio Galloni, Vinous, 92/100

 

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