Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico DOCG 2011

W D'Albola Chianti 2011Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

95% sangiovese

5% canaiol

13.0% alcohol

Opened 7 Dec 2017

els 8.8/10

JS 91

WS 90

RP 87

The Castello d’Abola estate, drastically renamed Castello di Albola, located in the village of Radda, is smack dab in the middle of the Chianti Classico DOCG. The wine takes its name from the Abola Castle, built sometime around the 1400s and beautifully restored by the current owners: the Zonin family.

Vineyards and wineries have existed in Tuscany Chianti area for at least 2500 years, likely even further into the past, back during the pre-Roman times of the enigmatic Etruscan civilization; who are believed to have introduced wine production to the French. A truer definition of altruistic and noble charity cannot be found.

The vines for this wine are grown at the highest elevation of any vineyard in the Chianti DOCG, rooted in clayey limestone soils that receive anywhere from 0.25 to 1.8 inches of rain per month during the growing season.  Temperatures can reach into the mid-80s during the day and drop into the mid-40s Fahrenheit at night.

This wine exhibits a brilliant ruby-red  to garnet hue, redolent of sweet fruits and pepper. A medium body, balanced and structured wine along with a moderate but pleasant finish. A nice table wine for everyday fare or drink alone while watching the sun sink slowly towards the west.

A good wine. Decant and aerate for at least one hour.

The 2011 is close to impossible to find anymore, at least in the US.  I’ve found one store in the UK and one in Canada that are charging an exorbitant price that you should definitely pass on.  I paid $15.99 for a bottle in 2015, which is (was) an inexpensive to a tad over-priced for wine of this quality.

Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva 2013

W Nozzole ChiantiSangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

100% sangiovese

13.5% alcohol by volume

els 9.1/10

Vinous 93

Wilfred Wong 90

The Italians, Ambrogio, and his son Giovanni, the seventh and eighth generations of wine makers in the Folonari family, acquired the Nozzole Estate in 1971; continuing the family tradition of producing fine Tuscany wines since the 1700s.

The Nozzole Estate, less than 20 miles south of Florence, was known as a producer of fine wines as far back as the 1300s. The immediate proximity of the estate to Florence is prima facie evidence that the winery supplied the city with a significant amount of Nozzole’s output, making a claim to the creative spirit and charm of this city.

Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance in the middle 1300s was known, from historical records, to import, during this time period, 6 to 7 million gallons of wine inside the city walls each year; estimated to have a population of 80,000 to 95,000 citizens; happily providing every person with a bottle of wine every day. It is no coincidence that the Florence of old is synonymous with the creative brilliance, magnificence, patronage of notables like Leonardo, Botticelli, and Medici: paintings, sculpture and money.

Moving into the present, estimates are that the world produces upwards to 36 billion bottles of wine every year, barely enough to give every soul a miserly bottle of wine every 2 or 3 months. It is no coincidence that the world today generates copious amounts of lawyers, guns and…money.

The Nozzole’s vineyards are  222 acres of Sangiovese grapes, grown in the Chianti Classico sub-region of central Tuscany, sunning themselves 1000 feet above sea level on the rolling hills of weathered sandstone and chalky marlstones. Mild nights, temperatures from the low to high 50s, and hot days reaching up into the mid-80s persuade the grapes to give up a full-bodied wine, nudged along with 1.5 to 3 inches of rain per month during the growing season.

This Chianti is a dark, purple to ruby-red, aromas of acidic, dark cherries and raisins, tannins just right for a long, structured finish.

An outstanding wine.

$19.99 wine.com

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