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The wines of Gagliole, Chianti Classico, Italy

Website: www.gagliole.com

Gagliole, an estate in Castellina in Chianti, is owned by husband and wife team Monika and Thomas Bär. He’s a Swiss banker and lawyer, while she’s a gallery manager; they were seduced by the Tuscan countryside and decided to buy the property, which they did in 1990.

The whole estate coverss 30 hectares; of these, 8 are under vine. Altitude is 500 metres, which is quite high by Chianti standards and helps keep freshness in the wines.

Winemaking is in the hands of consultant winemaker Stefano Chioccioli (www.stefanochioccioli.it), who boasts an exhaustive and impressive lists of clients in Italy, Switzerland and France. Wines are fermented in 40 hl oak vats before being transferred to barriques for maturation.

The wines are very impressive, and there’s quite a contrast between the easy-to-appreciate fruitiness of the Rubiolo and the more structured power of the two vintages of the IGT.

Gagliole Rubiolo 2007 Chianti Classico
13.5% alcohol. Deep coloured. Beautifully smooth, pure raspberry and blackberry fruit nose, which is incredibly lush but avoids being jammy. The palate shows sleek, fresh red berry and blackberry fruit with lovely purity and a subtle spicy edge. This is a very modern, accessible style of Chianti. 89/100

Gagliole Colli della Toscana Centrale 2005 IGT Toscana
14% alcohol. This is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon that spends 16 months in barriques. Deep red/black in colour. Brooding dark spicy, tarry nose with plum and cherry notes. The palate is savoury and concentrated with blackcurrant and plum fruit, as well as some spiciness and a hint of (attractive) bitterness from the structure. There’s lovely purity and intensity here, with focused dark fruits, spicy depths and good acidity. Distinctly Tuscan, this has a long future ahead of it. 93/100

Gagliole Colli della Toscana Centrale 2006 IGT Toscana
Savoury, intense blackberry and dark cherry nose with a strong tannic, spicy edge. It is ripe and fruit-driven, but there’s some intense spiciness and dark gravelly, tarry notes too. The palate shows intense dark fruit character with plum and damson bitterness, firm tannins and good acidity. This is a serious traditional-styled Chianti (even though it is IGT) with a dash of well integrated oak. It needs time. 92/100

Wines tasted 02/09  
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