Camartina 2017 promises elegance and poise despite the hot and dry conditions of the vintage.
Camartina has always been majestic in stature and the one we’re proud to call our flagship wine since its first vintage in 1981. Part of the original Super Tuscans, Camartina has earned its stripes as one of the more elegant, noteworthy wines in this category with an assertive, rather than aggressive, personality.
A bit of background
The Super Tuscans movement originated decades ago with a group of ambitious producers, who ought to make modern styles and experiment outside the restrictions of the appellation system, known as Denominazione d’Origine Controllata (DOC). Querciabella was one of this handful of visionary winemakers eager to show that exceptional red wines could also be produced in this corner of Tuscany. These now legendary wines – of which Camartina is a fine and early example – were once labelled as simple table wines to protest against the antiquated Chianti Classico production rules that at the time seemed to favour quantity over quality.
The rise of Super Tuscans in Chianti Classico
The rise of Super Tuscans was so unstoppable that the Consorzio Chianti Classico reviewed its own production rules twice to win back the pack of successful dissidents. First, elevating these ‘Vini da Tavola’ to the status of appellation wines under the denomination Toscana IGT; then by allowing Chianti Classico DOCG wines to be made from Sangiovese alone. Many also see the introduction of the “Chianti Classico Gran Selezione” category in 2013 as a further attempt made in this direction.
The response from the producers couldn’t be more diverse, with some of the original forefathers reuniting under the Chianti Classico umbrella and others determinedly going their own way. Whatever stance one takes here, it’s undeniable that Super Tuscans are still widely considered the best expressions of this territory.
The 2017 vintage is one of the driest on records. The scarcity of rain, a cold winter, and a long, hot summer limited bunches and berries development and kept disease pressure low. Thanks to near-perfect autumn conditions, we harvested healthy grapes with vibrant profiles and depth. The high skin-to-juice ratio of the berries and naturally ripe tannins made it a fine start for elegant wines of tension and structure.
The 2017 Camartina does not have the opulence readers are likely to expect in this warm, dry year. Time in the glass brings out brighter tonalities of fruit and floral overtones that give a good idea to where the 2017 is heading.
95/100 —Antonio Galloni
The Making of
Camartina has been about 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese for nearly two decades now. Originally it was the Sangiovese leading the blend, but over the years, the proportions switched as Cabernet has grown more domesticated to Ruffoli’s arid sandstone slopes. A small percentage of Merlot resisted in the blend until the 2000 vintage.
At Querciabella, the art of blending lies in the profound understanding of each grape’s unique character coupled with small-batch micro-vinification. To pursue excellence, we favour gentle but precise fermentation management in French oak fermenters to allow for the harmonious integration of tannins and textural development. After malolactic fermentation, the two grapes undergo maturation separately. It’s only after 18 long months in French oak barrels, up to 20% new, that the best lots get picked for Camartina’s final composition.
Camartina 2017 has a beautiful floral fabric entwined with scents of wild herbs, plump blackberries and cedar spice, promising elegance and poise even in this warmer vintage.
Expressive and generous on the full-bodied palate, it reveals an abundance of ripe black cherries and plums, blackcurrants, cassis, and a mild earthiness with a touch of black pepper. The fine structure of this wine lies in the seamless integration of sophisticated and sturdy tannins along with a noticeable bright acidity weaving it all together. The Sangiovese is evident, delivering its Tuscan footprint and hints of flowery tea leaves and dried roses that add another dimension to the wine’s complexity.
Pairing Camartina 2017
There is a gentle quality to Camartina 2017 that invites you to pay attention to all the layers of flavours and textures it offers while making you aware that you are drinking a glass of wine full of personality. It is a wine that lets you experience its delicacy as it develops on your palate and urges for food that can stand up to its stately manners. Try Camartina 2017 and vegan cassoulet filled with wild mushrooms, fresh herbs, white beans, and veggie sausages for a tasty, plant-based pairing.