I have been diligently tasting (and purchasing) a number of recently released wines from the greater Chianti area - at the risk of indulging in hyperbole, the 2015 and 2016 vintages, based upon my early looks at each, both seem to be very serious vintages for Chianti, and I will be very interested in checking out the Brunellos from these vintages when they are finally released.
Below are TNs from four producers that are all new to me.
2016 Fattoria Pomona Chianti Classico Riserva- Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG (2/15/2020)
Had this last night side-by-side with the Montefioralle (and if it wasn’t so difficult to figure out how to add a wine to the CT database, I would have actually posted a TN last night as well) ;^)
This was very good as well, with a lot of Chianti typicity - red fruits on the nose, and good acidity on the palate. Both my wife and I had a slight preference for the Montefioralle last night on opening, but I will revisit this on Monday for some additional thoughts.
Very Chianti - earthy red fruit on the nose, abundant acidity on the palate and good persistence on the finish. 2016 is shaping up to be a great vintage in Chianti, and this wine is a fine representative of that vintage.
2012 Fietri Chianti Classico Riserva- Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG (2/8/2020)
This comes across somewhat clenched on the palate. I’m not familiar with the producer, so no way to know if that is a stylistic winemaking choice or just the fact that the wine is still young.
The nose is the highlight here; classic Chianti, with crunchy red fruit and menthol.
Good persistence and acidity, primarily red-fruited - 2016 is proving to be one of those vintages in Tuscany where the wines are excellent out of the gate, and even at this point in the wine’s development, this is pretty pleasurable.
Sitting here with another glass of the Pomona CCR, and I like this better tonight than I did Friday (although I liked it on opening as well). The red fruit has a candied/confected note on the nose, but we’ve got some very nice sweet & sour cherry fruit on the palate, with a finish I am still tasting as I type this.
Of the four wines I’ve tried to this point, this is my favorite, and the wine that to me has the most future upside.
I’m not a member, but went to a VDLT dinner last week -Tuscans and Piedmonts- that included the first 3 of these. . Greg dal Piaz selected the wines. I actually preferred the 2012 Fietri to the Pomona and Montefioralle, but was in minority, most found too lean.
Thanks for the additional info there, Dale - other than Greg’s involvement in helping them with their Tuscan portfolio, I don’t know a lot about VDLT.
RE: the Fietri, my concern would be the fact that it was already seven years old and still showing so young/unyielding - I was not surprised to see a '16 like the Pomona show that way as a new release, but at some point in time with a Chianti, you would expect it to start showing it’s goods, so to speak. If the palate of the Fietri ever catches up with the nose, I think you would have something very nice, but the balance of the Pomona right out of the gate impressed me more (with the caveat that, unlike you, I didn’t literally have them side-by-side).
I wanted to throw my hat into the ring here regarding VDLT.
While I was not at this tasting, I had been contacted by Greg and Michael of VDLT roughly 8 weeks ago when I’d posted on the ITB threads that I was seeking wholesale arrangements for the Grassl stems.
To be as transparent as I can - my first read of the VDLT page had me wondering what in the world they were buying and what their business model was. They have a small, but apparently growing, cadre of wine lovers as part of their group who rely on Greg and Michael to discover, select, educate, and then sell their members wines. They have a compelling winery-direct model as well as a standard ‘on-hand’ inventory selection.
At first review, nothing about the labels they carried struck me with any familiarity. But, I purchased a mix case of the wines and told Greg and Michael I’d drink them, give them feedback and from there we could discuss if Grassl stems were a fit.
I’ll start throwing some tasting notes up in the very near future but I wish to make something crystal clear - while these labels were unknown to me (and I’m not the guy to have any valid opinion on labels, I simply don’t drink that much nor with that much knowledge), I’ve yet to open a single bottle that hasn’t impressed me and brought pleasure to me. If I were to use words such as QPR in describing the wines I’ve tried, I think that is fair. But I don’t want to necessarily lump these wines into a QPR bucket as there is a connotation of an inexpensive wine out-kicking its coverage on a relative basis.
I think a better way to describe these wines and VDLT would be to indicate they are spending considerable time on the ground in Europe finding producers the “Everyman” would have zero opportunity to find on their own and they are bringing them to the masses. If you have a desire to experience wines you may simply walk past in a wine store and would prefer to do so with at least one other opinion before parting with your cash, I think you owe VDLT’s portfolio a serious look. These men have sincerely surprised me with what I’ve tried and I won’t hesitate in endorsing them.
They are offering the glasses to their members. I have no financial gain from this post. But they do have my support.
+1. Greg’s knowledge and experience are truly impressive. (Voix de la Terre) VDLT Wine Community is pleased and flattered that Greg chose to offer his Chianti selections with us.
After extensive discussions, tastings and meals together, we discovered that we are kindred spirits. We both know, respect and want to promote talented, dedicated, small-production winemakers whose wines are under-represented or not represented in the US.
VDLT already is working on presenting more of Greg’s discoveries from other regions of Italy - including the well-received wines from Barolo and Barbaresco served at the winemaker event referenced above. I understand that one or more of the attendees plan to post notes on the wines and the event.
Stay tuned…and you’re welcome to contact either of us Greg’s if you want to learn more about what we are doing.