Poggio ai Chiari 2011
Colle Santa Mustiola
Chiusi, Tuscany (east of Montalcino)
$69.99, $64.99 on 3+ (code: 3saves5)
One of the best new red wines I tasted last year was a wine I have never heard of before. This Tuscan red is made entirely from 28 separate clones of Sangiovese in the south of Tuscany in Chiusi, just east of Montalcino where the famous Brunello hail from.
If I had to suggest a similarity, it was like Burgundy in Italy made from Sangiovese. Similar to the great Brunello that hark on Burgundy’s call from Poggio di Sotto and Stella di Campalto, maybe the two greatest Brunello producers today. The nose was so perfumed, elegant but dense, filling the space around the table we were tasting with its gorgeous perfumed aromas.
Region: IGT Chiusi, Tuscany
Variety: 100% Sangiovese
Land: 5 ha of hillside Sangiovese vineyards in Chiusi, just east of Montalcino. The climate here is mitigated by the cooling effects of the nearby huge Chiusi Lake.
Viticulture: Practices organic; crazy high vine density of 10,000 plants per hectare!
Vines: 28 different Sangiovese clones (4 pre-phyloxera) in the late 80s, early 90s. Planted at 300 meters asl with southeastern exposure.
Soil: Alluvional/Sandy w/marine Pliocene deposits and pebbles
Fermentation: with native yeasts, in controlled temperature stainless steel vats.
Maceration: 40 days, 20 days w/submerged cap
Aging: 5 years in used French oak barriques and huge 20 hl botti, plus 24 months in bottle
Production: A microscopic 800+ cases
3 Gambero Rosso Glasses for 5 years (Tre Bicchieri)
94 Points RP for the similar vintage 2009 (NOT the 2011 here which is NOT yet rated)
"The 2009 Poggio Ai Chiari, 100% Sangiovese, is a bold, flavorful wine. Deceptive in its mid-weight structure, the 2009 hits the palate with tons of Sangiovese sweet red cherry, game, anise, tobacco, worn-in leather and cedar. The aromatics are starting to show the first sign of development. As always, Poggio Ai Chiari is one of the most distinctive wines in Tuscany.” – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, April 2018