Gagliole Oak

~ The walk to the Gagliole offices is dominated by a large oak tree ~

The Gagliole estate first appears in the Siena Archives as early as 994 AD around the time King Berengarius bequeathed the estate to his wife.  Miraculously, the passing of centuries has left this estate remarkably untouched.  One aspect of this unaffected passing of time can be seen in the terraced vineyards and vine rows which are dotted randomly with olive trees; a clear belief in cross pollination agriculture common with the Etruscans.

Although the Gagliole Estate is located in Castellina in Chianti, the property’s vineyard holdings are split evenly between Castellina (10 hectares) and Panzano (also 10 hectares).  Through constant renewal and dedication to detail, the team carefully manicure their vineyards which are now between 2 and 40 years of age.

Gagliole Vineyards

~ These terraced vineyards line the road leading to the Gagliole Estate. Note the gate near the cypress trees in the lower right and the sporadic olive trees that dot the vineyard ~

When you turn onto the dusty, white stone road that leads to the Gagliole estate,  it’s easy to be transported back to a simpler, ancient era; an era when the Etruscans farmed, toiled and bled among their terraced vineyards and manicured olive groves.

It’s hard not to be overcome by a sense of the symbolic, as if you yourself are being transported through time.  Gagliole captures all of the enduring Tuscan spirit.  The simple, white, cypress lined road evokes the peace and tranquility of another time that stirs the soul and blossoms romance.  I encourage you to let it sweep you away.

Gagliole Oak Tanks

~ New Oak vats await installation ~

When I last visited Gagliole, they were in the process of finalizing their new cellar space located on their Valletta estate in Panzano.  The original cellar in Castellina is small and the production needs had clearly outgrown the cantina.  Today, the estate is well positioned to increase their production and manage the maturation of their wines without sacrificing quality.

The new cellar space sits almost entirely underground and retains a low natural profile.  The tile and terra cotta used throughout promote natural cooling and the entire back of the winery is glass that opens to allow reception of the grapes during harvest.  It’s an impressive feat of architecture but no less impressive are the wines.  Today, I’m spotlighting two new releases.

Gagliole Cellar

~ Here is part of the new Cellar’s aging level ~

The 2017 Gagliole Valletta combines Sangiovese from Castellina and Merlot from Panzano in equal parts.  Precise and attentive winemaking is the key here as the Sangiovese is aged in Slavonian oak while the Merlot gets barrique.  Cherries, bright floral notes and spices are lifted on the nose of the wine.  The palate is approachable and fresh which is noteworthy in what was often a hot vintage.  Gagliole’s vineyards are fairly high in elevation.  As a result they appear to have managed the temperature spikes well.  Cherries, berries, leather and traced of mint punctuate the palate.  This is really well done and despite its more approachable nature, is a serious wine.  Once blended, Valletta spends 14 months in oak and 6 months in bottle before release.   92 points. Find this wine.

Gagliole Valletta

~ Valletta is a wonderful marriage of Sangiovese and Merlot ~

Like the Estate’s other flagship wine, Pecchia, the 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva Gallule is impressive.   Produced entirely from the terraced vineyards in Castellina, Gallule is 100% Sangiovese.   Deep violet in color the wine exudes aromas of crushed cherry, warm clay, leather and fresh herbs.  Decanted for over an hour, the wine threw a large sediment.  Full bodied flavors of wild cherry are joined by coffee, dusty earth, tobacco and leather.  It’s quintessential Castellina.  Fresh and young, this wine will live for a decade or more.  Aged at least 14 months in 2nd passage barrique and 12 months in bottle prior to release.  94 points. Find this wine.
Gagliole Gallule

~ Gallule is the ancient spelling of “Gagliole”  ~

Stay tuned for new reviews and recipes, including videos coming soon!


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