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2016 Podere Erica 'La Ghiandaia' Toscano Rosso

2016 Podere Erica 'La Ghiandaia' Toscano Rosso

Region: Chianti < Tuscany < Italy
Grapes: Sangiovese 70%, Canaiolo 30%
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic farming; grapes are co-fermented in cement, then the juice spends 14 months in cement and stainless vats, then another 6 months in bottle; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal So2; 13.5% ABV
Winemaker: Marco

Podere Erica is a beautifully restored farmhouse and winery located halfway between Florence and Siena, owned by a lovely San Francisco couple (who happen to be my neighbors).   I first met Jan and tasted through the wines a few years ago, intrigued by their biodynamic farming but expecting fireworks in the juice -- after all, Chianti Classico is known for classic and consistent wines, not necessarily innovation or natural winemaking.   After tasting the first wine, a skin contact white blend, I knew I was wrong.  The next summer we visited the estate, tasting through the full lineup with Marco, the young and dynamic winemaker who tends the vines as well.  They have a classic lineup, but he was most excited to show us his new projects, like the pink pet'nat, the aforementioned orange wine and a lovely carbonic Sangiovese that was so refreshing under the Tuscan sun.  These wines were legit natural and interesting, a revelation for Tuscany.

The scenery here might be classic Tuscany, with meticulously groomed vineyards and groves of olive trees, not to mention pigs and donkeys, but the philosophy behind the estate is what makes them special.  At the heart is farming, which goes beyond organic with biodynamic and regenerative practices that nourish and supplement the soil in a way that benefits the environment and future generations. No chemicals are used at all -- only natural products are allowed, like the orange oil to repel insects.

'La Ghiandaia' is the estate’s classic blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo grapes that is elegant and precise, but not boring.   Floral and high toned, with bright red fruits, spice and soft, integrated tannins, it feels special and luxurious, and goes so well with anything tomato-sauced.  It's drinking beautifully now, but has the legs to age for at least another 10 years.
Regular price $28.00
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