2009 Castellare Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggiale

Year: 2009
Appellation: Tuscany
Country: Italy
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
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"The single-vineyard 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggiale is huge. Black fruit, smoke and licorice are some of the notes that burst from the glass in this extroverted wine. The Poggiale is a bit juicier and richer than the straight Riserva, but the two wines are as differentiated as they often are. Still, it is impossible not to admire the sheer balance and harmony of what is in the glass. The Poggiale is 90% Sangioveto, 5% Caniaolo and 5% Ciliegiolo, aged in French oak barrels, 10% new. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029.

I have long been a fan of Castellare. These are among my staples in Chianti Classico. As excellent as the wines often are, my impression is that quality and consistency have both increased in a big way over the last few years. This year’s new releases include a special commemorative wine made to celebrate the estate’s 30th vintage. While I am not usually a big fan of these “cellar blends,” the Trenta Vendemmie is truly a special bottle well worth seeking out. Readers who want to learn more about Castellare and their flagship I Sodi di San Niccolo may want to check out my vertical on that wine, also published in this issue. Kudos to proprietors Paolo and Nicoletta Panerai, and their long-time winemaker Alessandro Cellai, on these spectacular wines." (WA)

"(13.5% alcohol): Good bright red. Complex, knockout nose offers red cherry, redcurrant, licorice, cinnamon and camphor. An essence of sangiovese in the mouth, with suave, penetratingly pure red cherry, red berry and mineral flavors conveying an impression of energy and precision. Very intensely flavored and seamless wine with sneaky concentration and wonderful balance. I suspect this will develop more density and flesh with another year of bottle age. Finishes with firm, high-quality tannins, harmionious acidity, piercing minerality, and lovely lingering perfume. This may well be the best young Il Poggiale ever. It's a wine of mindblowing purity and precision, magically combining perfume, refinement and purity of flavor." (IWC)

Winery Notes:
Made from 90% Sangioveto, 5% Canaiolo, and 5% Ciliegiolo grown in the Il Poggiale vineyard, the grapes come from an elevation of almost 1,500 feet above sea level. The combination of high elevation and extremely low yields results in a wine that manages to simultaneously show both restraint and layered richness. This classic red holds great aging capability.

This Riserva is a brilliant garnet color with layered aromas of red cherries, earth, rose flowers, and leather. On the palate, the wine shows excellent structure with firm, integrated tannins and is full-bodied with plenty of spice.

This wine goes well with rich fare such as osso bucco, beef stew, casseroles, roast beef, or even Hollandaise sauces.