WanderCurtis Wine

Wine tastings, corporate events, reviews and recommendations

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Chianti and Confit

Kiran’s choice this week, and it was to be our first non blind tasting for over a year. Kiran was seeking an exploration of Chianti, one of his blind spots. After listening to the excellent Guild of Sommeliers podcast on Sangiovese it further inspired this weeks theme.

A trio of Chianti wines

It was a little disconcerting arriving with uncovered bottles but it had its own merits and still presented us with many learning points.

Of course we had pre read the indispensable ‘Beyond flavour’ by Nick Jackson MW which primed us into what structure to expect. However there were some revelations in store.


Kiran’s wine

Monte Bernardi Sa’etta Chianti Classico riserva 2016

100% Sangiovese single vineyard oak 24 months bottle 1 year

Appearance– Medium ruby

Nose– tart cherry thyme tobacco spice savoury profile

Taste-Very drying gum tannins fine sand or chalky. Clearly felt in the gums medium + and med + acidity

Med acid very dry dusty no real sweetness

Savoury salty flavour profile cherry strawberry

No tertiary aromas

This felt like a typical Chianti and was crying out for a tomato pasta dish

Adam’s wine

Brolio Barone Ricasoli 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva

Very different nose clearly pyrazine blackcurrant, blackcurrant leaf

Herbaceous, chocolate vanilla yoghurt smoother ? Oak influence

Smooth sweeter softer tannins mainly gums

If Tasted blind we all said we would have thought this was a Cabernet based wine. Tannic quality a little different but on the nose clear pyrazine.

Sangiovese 80% Merlot 15% Cabernet Sauvignon 5% aged in barrique and tonneaux for 16 months

Learning points

Small amounts of other varietals can make a profound difference

Chianti Classico wines can vary enormously

Stuart’s wine.

Il Carbonaione 2016 Podere Poggii Scalette

Sangiovese 100% IGT from older vines planted in 1928 from the rare Sangiovese di lamole clone

Red fruits dried and jammy some dark fruit cinnamon stick Vanilla tobacco Tinned cola

Mouth more powerful wine

Notable oak vanilla

Gummy distribution tannins finish savoury

This was a more robust expression of Sangiovese again showing the great diversity of Chianti. In some ways this provides greater interest in other you don’t know quite what to expect.

As with all Italian wines food is needed, fortunately, Kiran hade made a delectable Confit duck and red cabbage

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Gastronomic heaven in Chianti Classico , April 2014

CecchiniWith the fine palates and ample bellies of my father and brother in hand, we set of on an explorative journey to seek the finest food and wine of the Chianti Classico region , nestled between the delightful cities of Florence and Siena.
First stop Fontodi ,in the beautiful Tuscan countryside just South of Panzano ,olive groves ,rolling Hills, Cypress trees ,grape vines.

The perfect setting to explore the lovely terracotta amphora , an experimental medium for ageing wine.

Tasting included a good cross section including  Flaccianello 2008.


The appetite was growing, calling for a mandatory trip to Italies most famous and extrovert butcher Dario Cecchini, the most famous in Italy,  a charismatic and eloquent champion of Tuscan carnivorous cuisine a meat centric restaurant where  quality knows no boundaries. A homage to the cow ,full of character and quirkiness .


DarioGreeted with a glass of local chianti from traditional straw flask or’ Fiasco ‘.Bread drowned in local extra virgin olive oil.lard with herbs on brushetta , wild boar salami and pecorini cheese and that’s just while you wait to be seated.
Ushered after a short wait  through the pantry kitchen and sliding doors upstairs to vibrant bustling dining room open BBQ huge hunk of beef fiorentine .
The place eats sleeps and breathes meat .

Amply fed and somewhat dozy we made our way South on the 222 through Castellina in Chianti to the lovely Villa Trasqua .vino Santo



Giorgia had a fine schedule for us .A walk thorough  vines carrying most of the terroir with us  after recent rainfall. A tutorial on the guyot and cordon pruning methods and suddenly a downpour and a lift back through the vineyard to the tasting room.Fanatico ,Evolito traluna and Trasgaia deep ruby red, cherries ,spice great personality.
finished with a lovely  2005 vino Santo. Alan then showed us the stunning views from the tower over to Siena.


Daniele di Seta


Next on to Daniela and Maria at Tera Di Seta Kosher winery. A  walk through the  vines olive groves and then a Shabbat tasting .Very interesting to see the locked room leading to the winery no access only to approved personnel. Smoky, spicy and herbaceous wines and very peppery luscious olive oil.


Dinner  at Cacio e Pepe  in the local village of Vagliagli was a fitting end to a gastronomic day.
Wonderful soup  followed by ricotta and spinach cannelloni,  apple strudel and coffee with 3 spoons and  the delightful smiling  Lucia together with her mum and sister ran this most excellent restaurant.


Saturday we headed to Raddia in chianti. Coffee at Sandys followed by getting lost on the way to Castello d’Albola . A great   tour of  the property and cellars owned Fiascoby the Zonin family. What a marvellous selection of wines finished of with the vino santo  aged for 8 years in Chestnut barrels.
A trip back to Greve in Chianti to Castello Vicciomagio and  met the the rather efficious John Matta  on the way through the vines  . It felt like the Spanish inquisition !

vicchimagioHis wine though were great sat on the hilltop with stunning panoramic  views over theTuscan, Chianti countryside Vicchiomaggio chiant classico riserva 2010  .

Expect to get lost in chianti country , our sat nav useless .


South to Siena and the spectaular  Duomo and Piazza Del Campo . The last stop was back to the lovely Lucia at Cacio e Pepe for some home cooking in Vagliagli and a mal to surpass the gastronomy of last night.

Three satiated  bellies and back to Di Seta winery .


Sunday , A gentle meander north on Rt 222 stopped in Panzano  to shop in the street market and meet the gregarious Dario Cecchini ,

who surprised us with his name in Hebrew on his apron and trophy from the great shimon Peres peace foundation from his trip to Israel.Dario

Then North to  Villa Il Foggia  and finished off our wines we had collected on our travels overlooking the vineyards and Florence in the distance.

The final feast served by Maurizio in  a great aunthentic restaurant A Casa Mia run by two brothers in Montefiridolfi  .This a treasure of a find in a tiny village with only four tables wit a wonderful warm quaint atmosphere and food from the heart. The highlight being spinach and ricotta cannelloni which melted in the mouth.

That’s one of the wonders of Italy . Great food in local Trattorias, home cooking,  with  a warm atmosphere  and wine to match .


Here’s to our forthcoming trip to Puglia  …we can barely wait !


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