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Friday, February 26, 2016

Gagliole--Tuscan Wines from a Legendary Estate by Philip S. Kampe






Sangiovese is my favorite Italian grape. Yes, according to the winemakers, it is difficult to work with, but, when success is achieved, the reward in the palate is memorable.

One small boutique Tuscan producer, Gagliole, has found the secret to taming the lush Sangiovese grape.

The winery was started by Monika, an accomplished gallery manager and husband, Thomas Bar-Bettschart, a Swiss lawyer and banker. Both family members have focused on developing high quality wines from their estate, where argillite rich soils combined with south/southwest exposure produce award-winning wines.

Historically, the Gagliole estate was bequeathed by a son of King Berengarius  (Langobard)  in 994 A.D., to his wife.  The winery evokes memories of the distant past. Rolling hills in the Tuscan countryside lined with classic cypress trees surround the villa where the Bar-Bettschart family lives.

The vineyards are terraced, geometric and follow the contour of the rolling hills, which reach 1,800 feet altitude, a perfect height for the adventurous Sangiovese grape. Recently, I sampled two of their wines with sales manager, Alessia Riccieri, a bright, effervescent wine lover who knows the wines she represents.

The Wines:
2013 Gagliole Rubiolo Chianti Classico DOCG ($14)

90% Sangiovese  10% Merlot
13.5% alcohol
3, 750 cases produced
Winemaker: Stefano Chioccioli
Aging process: 1/3 aged French barriques,1/3 stainless steel tanks and 1/3 big oak Slovonion barrels for 12 months, plus 3 months in the bottle
Tasting notes: Dark ruby in color with obvious cherry aromas. On the palate, candied, syrupy cherries
abound with a backbone of vanilla, honeysuckle and rosemary. Medium-bodied, tame and fruity in nature, this wine begs for food.


2011 Gagliole Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT ($30)
90% Sangiovese  10% Cabernet Sauvignon
14% alcohol

665 cases produced
Winemaker: Stefano Chioccioli
Aging process: French oak for 18 months, then 12 months in the bottle.
Tasting Notes: Bright ruby red in color. Notes of spice on the bouquet, highlighted by a mix of black licorice and honeyed-cinnamon. Dark fruit dominates the palate with nuances of blackcurrant and plum. The wine is balanced, full-bodied with ample acidity and soft tannins. The wine is ready to drink, although aging for up to ten years would only enhance the ripeness.


Gagliole wines show the Sangiovese grape at its best.
According to Alessia Riccieri, the wines keep improving year by year, thanks to winemaker Stefano Chioccioli’s expertise and his love for the property.

Vias Imports distributes the wines from the Gagliole Estate.

Philip S.Kampe



                                                 






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