Thursday, November 18, 2010

Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico DOCG 2008

Just a quick look at at glass of this yesterday, with lunch at Il Bacaro in Melbourne. I usually enjoy Castellare's wines, including their vin santo. The distinctive labels featuring drawings of bird species local to their vineyard areas are attention-getting and help anchor their wines to place, for me. They have a website (you can find it here) that is packed with useful information about their history and the wines. On of the more useful Italian winery websites I have come across.

There are several tiers of sangiovese based wines, including Chianti, produced by Castellare. This wine is their entry level Chianti Classico, with the range also including a Riserva Chianti and the Il Poggiale Riserva. It is sangiovese with a little canaiolo (one of the traditional Chianti blending partners) added, but none of the 'international' varieties are used. The fruit comes off 20 year old vines grown on calcareous soils, spending seven months in old oak and six in bottle before sale.

The wine has good colour and a directness of sangivese varietal flavours, including cherry and red fruits, a little grilled nuts and dried herbs. Not trying too hard for intensity, impact or length, the wine is all the better for it, and went well with a dish of guinea fowl and vegetables. Was $16 a glass off the Il Bacaro list, but should be found at retail in Australia in the mid-$30s a bottle.

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