Querciabella Chianti Classico 2018: New Vintage Release

With the release of Querciabella Chianti Classico 2018, our search for site-specific quality has found one of its great expressions yet.

As one can imagine, if a wine takes on the name of the estate, it should be a calling card of what that estate is trying to do – a message in a bottle. Querciabella Chianti Classico is, in fact, our statement of intent. With every vintage release, its terroir-driven character is more pronounced and sophisticated, the result of our ever-increasing understanding of how Sangiovese behaves in the individual sites and our pledge to environmental stewardship.

Querciabella Chianti Classico

Since the first official appearance of the name Chianti back in 1398, this region has been inextricably linked to wine production. The local authorities have made clever steps to protect and exalt this territory’s prime qualities throughout history, and the Consorzio Chianti Classico was founded in 1924, the first in Italy. 

Querciabella’s first vintage of Chianti was 1974, a relatively recent debut in the rich history of the appellation. Originally made with grapes grown not too far from our cellar on the hillside of Ruffoli, Greve in Chianti, it was sold under the Casaocci brand – the property’s former name. As soon as we found our stride and set to become a beacon of quality winemaking in this corner of the appellation, we relabeled our Chianti Classico wine Querciabella, the name the Castiglioni family also chose for the whole estate.

By the way, Poggio della Querciabella is a small hill just above our cellar. As the name suggests in Italian, it is covered by beautiful oaks.

Complex expression of a diverse terroir  

Chianti Classico’s rough terrain offers a wide range of locations and many different microclimates and soils. Thrilled by this huge diversity, through the thoughtful acquisition of exceptional sites, we have grown well beyond our original seat on the hillside of Ruffoli. Today, our organic vineyards stretch over 70 hectares across three distinct communes –Greve, Radda and Gaiole in Chianti – and range in altitude from 350 to 600 metres a.s.l. 

Our profound knowledge of each site allows us to treat our vineyards almost individually, adapting to their needs and the season. In an average year, the harvest of Sangiovese alone takes us over a month to complete. We vinify separately over 60 lots of Sangiovese, and from the outset of fermentation to patient maturation, we focus on preserving their essence. Only after continuous tastings of the base wines, we choose the final blend that becomes our vintage expression of Chianti Classico.

The Classic vintage of 2018

Already labelled by many as “classic”, 2018 is for sure one of the most harmonious vintages of the last decade due to regular weather patterns and a prolonged ripening season that lasted well into perfect Autumn days. Thanks to these near-perfect growing conditions and our great timing and precision in picking, we brought to the cellar grapes of exceptional quality. Naturally, Querciabella Chianti Classico 2018 has already taken centre stage in the world of fine wines, picking up the regional Trophy of Best Chianti Classico by prestigious German gourmet magazine, Falstaff, and winning the appreciation of renowned wine critics like Bruce Sanderson (90/100).

“From start to finish, the 2018 is all class.”
93/100 —Antonio Galloni · Vinous

The making of 

Grapes are hand-picked at optimal ripening in different site across the appellation. Following de-stemming, a further selection on the cellar’s sorting table ensures that only the best berries are crushed and transferred into a combination of stainless steel, cement and oak fermenters. 

Each lot of Sangiovese ferments separately at cool temperatures (22°C–28°C) with gentle pump-overs and remains on the skins for up to 4 weeks for post-fermentation maceration. We might use submerged caps to ferment the best vineyards and bring out their unique textural complexity. After malolactic fermentation, the base wines mature in 225L barrels, 500L tonneau or 30 HL oak vats for 14 months. Once the final blend is bottled, it ages for at least six months before release.

Tasting Notes

Querciabella Chianti Classico 2018 is a Sangiovese lover’s dream with a very classical, fruity and bright profile. Made with such refinement that all the fresh and tart berry flavours, spices, iron and tobacco aromas, earthy notes pop all at once, it makes you marvel at the truly noble nature of a grape traditionally very fickle and hard to please. The underlying soil tones play a central role in this wine’s personality; the firm structure is well-integrated with silky tannins wrap around a lifted core of fruit, typical of quality Sangiovese.

Pairing Querciabella Chianti Classico

Querciabella Chianti Classico is a perfect foil for food. Its crispness and roundness make it perfectly suitable for a wide variety of cuisines and dishes. Vegan foods might not be your obvious choice when planning what to eat with your bottle of Chianti Classico, but we invite you to be creative with plant-based food parings, especially at home.

Sangiovese practically screams for anything with tomato sauce, and the natural pairing with Tuscan regional food is, of course, Pappa al Pomodoro. A heartier option is to pair this full-bodied wine with a dish that can stand up to its great structure and complexity, like Pasta with vegan Ragù.

Querciabella Chianti Classico 2018 is available to buy.

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