Sunday, November 15, 2015

Four Vintages - Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico

A study in vintage characteristics

Castello di Querceto in Greve
Here is a revealing look at vintage differences in a solid traditional Chianti Classico Riserva.  Castello Querceto produces these wines from grapes grown in a valley near the lovely village of Greve, in the north-eastern part of the Chianti Classico zone. The vineyards are at elevations ranging from 350 to 500 meters, which is very favorable to Sangiovese quality. These wines were composed primarily of Sangiovese, with approximately 5% Canaiolo, and small amounts of other ancient varetals traditional to the region.Castello Di Querceto was one of 33 founding members of the Chianti Classico Consortium, in 1924.
From one vintage to another, there is little variation in the methods employed to produce these Riservas, with the exception of fine tuning that must be made to deal with variations in weather. This consistency in wine making makes these wines an excellent tool to compare vintage impact on wines in the region. I found the differences to be pronounced and very interesting.

2005 Castello Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva, 13.5% ABV, $15

The first impression on the nose is that of organic Earth notes and forest floor, suggesting some age. This was less pronounced as it opened up in the glass. Also on the nose is lean red and black cherry with Asian spice and tobacco underneath. The palate is rustic, with dried black cherry, tobacco, leather, and dried herbs. The finish continues the pleasant theme of rusticity with lingering tobacco notes. 88 Pts
2006 Castello Di Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva, 13.5% ABV $15
The nose starts with firm dark fruit, blackberry and black cherry skins, with a little white pepper and anise. There is also a slight note of sweet vanilla. The palate shows more of the same black fruit which is dense and textured with mineral and tobacco notes, and good complexity. This developed well in the glass and was complete from the classic start to the fairly long finish. Well balanced, and satisfying. 91Pts
2007 Castello Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva, 13.5% ABV, $15
Beautiful aromas of spiced, ripe, black cherry flesh pushes out of the glass to meet you. This is followed by aromatic dried herbs, and some dried flower notes. On the palate, there is ripeness at the core of the black cherry and blackberry fruit, with firm edges supporting it, dried herbs, cardamom, and some mineral. There's a distinct contrast between the plush nose and leaner palate. 89 Pts

2009 Castello Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva, 13.5% ABV, $15
This one is straightforward with firm red cherry and a bit of dried herbs on the nose. The palate has tart red cherry, fresh acidity, and good grip. The elements that form the base of any decent Chianti are here, but not much else. There are no flaws, per se; it just doesn’t go past the basics. Earthy, baseline Chianti. I've tasted the 2009 Riserva from bottles with two different labels, but there was no noteworthy difference between the two. 86 Pts

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