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2017 Chianti Classico Riserva “Terrazze”

Castagnoli
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Glimpsing the dramatic “terraces” for which this Chianti is named, you might wonder if you boarded the wrong flight and landed in Côte-Rôtie. Trained vertically at a single vine per stake (known as échalas training in France), these vineyards have much in common with those of the northern Rhône. However, when you look around, you notice olive trees separating the vineyard rows, their silver leaves waving lackadaisically in the afternoon breeze. The brilliant sunshine and crystalline skies have an undeniable Mediterranean accent, and a rustic stone farmhouse encircled by cypresses at the top of the hill confirms: you are indeed in Tuscany.
     But the Côte-Rôtie comparison may not be so far-fetched, after all. Thanks to its high elevation and thin, rocky soils, this is a decidedly bright, aromatic, almost exotic Chianti, with aromas of black olive, violets, iron, and smoked meat, that nonetheless boasts the firm structure and aging potential of Tuscany’s memorable 2017 vintage. Decanting is advised; pleasure is assured.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2017
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Sangiovese
Appellation: Chianti Classico Riserva
Country: Italy
Region: Tuscany
Producer: Castagnoli
Winemaker: Alfred Schefenacker
Vineyard: 10 years average, 6.53 ha
Soil: Galestro Schist
Aging: Wine is raised in 500L barrels (none or very little new depending on vintage)
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 14.5%

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About The Region

Tuscany

Map of Tuscany wine region

Perhaps no region is tied to Italy’s reputation as a producer of fine wine as much as Tuscany. Since Etruscan times, viticulture has played a prominent role in this idyllic land of rolling hills, and the Tuscan winemaking tradition remains as strong as ever today. With a favorable Mediterranean climate, an undulating topography offering countless altitudes and expositions, and a wealth of poor, well-draining soils, conditions are ideal for crafting high-quality wines. Add to that the rich gastronomical tradition—Tuscany is home to some of the country’s finest game, pastas, salumi, and cheeses—and you have the blueprint for a world-class wine region.

This is Sangiovese territory; in fact, it is arguably the only place in the world where Sangiovese reaches a truly regal expression. In spite of a rocky history with fluctuations in quality, traditionally produced Chianti has reclaimed its status as one of the country’s most reliable, food-friendly reds, while the rapid rise of Brunello di Montalcino shows the grape’s potential for grandiose, opulent reds allying power and finesse. Traditionally-minded growers have stuck to using only indigenous grape varieties and employing techniques like aging in massive wooden casks known as botti, creating wines of terroir that shine at the Tuscan table.

Tuscan wines have had a place in our portfolio since Kermit’s first visit in 1977. While the names of the estates have changed, the spirit of those first unfiltered Chiantis he imported live on through our current selections.

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Old cob-webbed wine bottles

Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.

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