Visiting Chianti Classico 
Part 4: Castello della Paneretta

We were lucky enough to witness the grape harvest at our next visit, Castello della Paneretta. The beautiful-looking vineyards were dotted with red crates, ready for the pickers, who arrived soon after us and began stripping the vines of their almost picture-perfect bunches of grapes. 

Nicola Berti, the wine maker

Enrico Elbisetti, owner 

We met with winemaker Nicola Berti and Enrico Elbisetti, who’s the owner’s son. Altogether, the estate has 22 hectares of vineyards, which are mostly Sangiovese, with 3 hectares of Canaiolo (it’s quite unusual to have such a high proportion of this traditional variety). Soils vary, with some parts of the vineyard more rocky than others, but all are made up of the galestro soil type that is common in the region.


Back at the winery, we taste Nicola says that he’d like to get the tannins smoother in the wines by selecting the fruit more rigorously. ‘Maybe the wines are a bit to traditional, with the tannins too strong’, he reflects. After we taste the wines, we have a look round the beautiful house, and take a peek upstairs where the freshly harvested white grapes are being hung up to dry in order to make vin santo.


Once the grapes have concentrated their sweetness and acidity sufficiently, they are pressed, fermented and the wine is then matured in small, sealed oak casks for a number of years.


Castello della Paneretta Chianti Classico 2006
90% Sangiovese with 10% Canaiolo. Sweet bright cherry fruit nose with some fresh spiciness. Aromatic and bright. The palate is savoury, fresh and quite light with good acidity and attractive savoury spicy notes. Traditional styled. 88/100

Castello della Paneretta Torre a Destra Chianti Classico Riserva 2004
100% Sangiovese, half aged in barriques and half aged in big casks. Deep coloured. Rich, sweet, spicy nose with a medicinal hint as well as pure blackberry and plum fruit, and hints of earth. The palate is concentrated with smooth, intense dark fruits. Sweet and lush but with lovely intensity, and some cherry and plum brightness. 90/100

Castello della Paneretta Torre a Destra Chianti Classico Riserva 2003
Smooth refined lush cherry and red berry fruit nose. Seamless and elegant. The palate is expressive with smooth tannins and nice structure, as well as hints of leather, earth and spice. 91/100

Castello della Paneretta Torre a Destra Chianti Classico Riserva 1995
Spicy, sweet, aromatic, slightly meaty, complex and evolved with warm leathery notes. The palate is complex and earthy with a dry finish. Slightly funky with lots of brettanomyces character. 88/100

Castello della Paneretta Chianti Classico Riserva 1997
90% Sangiovese, 10 Canaiolo. Aromatic, bright and warm with some spicy meatiness. The palate is earthy and a bit meaty with leathery, earthy depth. Savoury, spicy and a bit funky. This is interesting but flawed, with some brett evident. 89/100

Castello della Paneretta Chianti Classico Riserva 2005
This had just been bottled a few days earlier. Lovely aromatic, lush, pure nose with a liqueur-like red cherry character. Very smooth and elegant. The palate is lush and smooth with sweet, pure red berry fruits and a subtle meaty, spicy edge. Aromatic and well balanced. 92/100

Castello della Paneretta Vin Santo Chianti Classico 2002
70% Trebbiano, 30% Malvasia, aged in chestnut barrels. Orange/gold colour. Sweet barley sugar nose with some honeyed notes. The palate is soft and sweet with lush texture, some citrussy fruit and nutty spicy warmth. Pure and delicious. 92/100

Here's are two short films from my visit:




Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Fontodi
Part 3: Castello di Querceto
Part 4: Castello della Paneretta
Part 5: Bibbiano
Part 6: Fattoria di Felsina
Part 7: Castell'in Villa
Part 8: Palazzino
Part 9: Barone Ricasoli
Part 10: Colle Lungo
Part 11: Vicchiomaggio

Wines tasted 10/08  
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