~ A tall oak on the Querciabella Estate inspires the property’s name ~

Querciabella, which translates simply as “Beautiful Oak”,  was founded in 1974 by Giuseppe Castiglioni and today is run by his determined and passionate son Sebastiano.  Since 1988, the estate has been organically farming their vineyards throughout Tuscany,  a feat that preceded many of the recent similar decisions by dozens of other wineries. Furthermore, since 2000, the estate is biodynamic and vegan – using no animal based fertilizers in their grape growing.  Sebastiano himself is vegan, so his passion for this way of life is paramount in everything he does.

With 74 hectares (183 acres) of prime Chianti Classico vineyards spread across the communes of Greve, Panzano, Radda and Gaiole, in addition to 32 hectares (79 acres) in Maremma on Tuscany’s unspoiled Etruscan coast, Querciabella’s holdings represent the largest group of biodynamically farmed vineyards in Italy.

~ I vigneti di Querciabella ~

Today we’re discussing the estate’s simple Chianti Classico – but as you may have guessed from the title of this article, the wine is anything but simple.  I last zeroed in on Querciabella during the 2013 vintage when their Chianti Classico was part of our Comprehensive Chianti report.  I was impressed then.  I’m equally impressed now.

The 2015 Querciabella Chianti Classico is a clear, pretty violet color throughout. This 100% Sangiovese is hand harvested and then vinified in stainless steel vats.  Once complete, the wine is transferred to French barrique for the requisite aging period, only 5% of which are new.  The remainder are 2nd and 3rd passage barrels.  The result is a terroir driven wine that speaks of Tuscany while still retaining a certain complexity from the wood.

The aromas of the wine are enticing.  Fresh flowers, crushed berry, eucalyptus and soft wood notes are complex and delightful.  On the palate this wine is savory and juicy with mouth watering sapidity.  Ripe cherry, sweet fennel and pipe tobacco are woven seamlessly. The acids, tannins and fruit are in perfect balance.  With food, this is immediately accessible and very versatile.  We paired it with a simple meatloaf, some rosemary scented potatoes and Sicilian style zucchini and could not have been happier.

After dinner, while winding down without food, this wine exhibited some serious tannin structure.  As my friend would say – “Con i Coglioni”…… This trait along with the balance of the wine leads me to believe there are even better days ahead for this so get some and save some.  91 points.  A bit expensive at $25 on average, but a minor complaint.  Find this wine.

Buon fine settimana!

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