Hailing from the Italian region of Chianti, this winery takes the concept of quality wines to the extreme. Querciabella, meaning “beautiful oak tree”, is located high up in the hills where many oak trees grow. Founded in the 70’s by a French wine enthusiast, Giuseppe Castiglioni, it has since been recognized for its superb wines. Exceptionally good terroir coupled with the high altitude resulted in quality produce wines that took this Italian gem to new heights.
Only the best of everything is used, like stainless steel tanks with computer control, peristaltic pumps, 100% natural yeast is used and only the finest of the fine oak barrels are used. Quality is something that they don’t compromise upon. The company uses bio-dynamic practices, which basically emphasises on diverting universal energies to the vineyard and winery to get the best final produce. Harmful chemicals and additives are barred and the must is not adjusted at all. All of the Querciabella wines are estate bottled and the grapes are selected from the Southeast and Southwest facing vineyards. Now being managed by Giuseppe Costiglioni’s son, Sebastiano who is assisted by an efficient management and technical staff, the trend of perfection is still his utmost priority.
Here are some of Querciabella’s marvels:-
Batar: 2008 2004 & 1998. From fruity to mineral. The ’08 is still mostly dormant. it’s time I yet to come. The ’04 seems stronger, appearing more structured, toasty-lemony, bright and boisterous. The mineral back makes an entry towards the end, and lingers on. ’98 is taking on a Sherry. Mineral-packed, nutty-yet-diffused, more rich a nose, the aromas playing a back and forth symphony of sorts. Excellent stuff. Still needs ageing, but it shows what ageing can do to this wine. Sherry all through.
Mongrana (50% Sangiovese and 25% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) and only a small part foes barrique for no more than 3 months. Already I like the wine. The fruit hits first, and lasts all through. This is a no-miss shot: can’t think of anybody who wouldn’t like this wine. Very fresh peppery. Safe, maybe, but yummy, sure!
Chianti Classico: No more Riservas since 1999, but this one is good enough, where ‘good enough’ means super-awesome. Fruity-rose, little licorice, lasting and not bitter. Not at all adapted and manages to taste authentic.
Camartina 1999, 2004 and 2007: (70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese) After Sebastiano’s sister, Martina Castiglioni, hence Ca-Martina. From oldest to newest, the wine shows character, and strength of built. Leather, some mushrooms, and clayey mineral dominates and yet floral and fresh. 2004 is still young, and reserved. The 2007, now seems scary to even try, like infanticide. The fruit is present, very juicy, the grip comes on later but then tannins seem to hold fort till the end.
Palafreno 2007 is 100% Merlot. This wine is closed for business for the moment. The fruits and the flowers are present but will only blossom with time. It does open up but is a long way from being it’s full self.
Post the reds, I try the white again, and this time, although the oak and fruit are present with oak dominating, it’s mineral and nothing else that we feel on the palate. Wow!