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Querciabella Chianti Classico 2006

Joe H

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Querciabella, 2006 from the Wine Spectator: "A rich, round wine, with plum and berry character and soft tannins. Full-bodied, with berry and dark chocolate character and a long finish. Juicy. Outstanding value. Drink now through 2012. 12,000 cases made."

I am sipping from a bottle of this which I opened 30 minutes ago. Already it is challenging Ama in its best year for potential. Remarkably delicious. Really, rather like having a good chocolate truffle AND a mouth coating red in the same taste.

I do have to wonder about the Wine Spectator although this made their Top 100 of '08: I opened a bottle of the '04 Querciabella a couple of days ago and really liked it. I thought their 90 points was bang on! This, however, is another matter. If that was 90 points this is 95. Not the 91 they gave it. In fact for wines that can be purchased for under $30 retail I'd rank this above the Columbia Crest '05 Reserve Cab which they DID give 95 points to. Curiously, we poured that side by side with a bottle of the '99 Columbia Crest Walter Clore Reserve (an excellent year) and preferred the "regular" reserve.

This is another matter.

Now, I want to taste Querciabella's Reserve from '06. I want to taste THIS with five or so years of bottle age. A GREAT bottle of Chianti, well worth the price. In fact I'm not so sure this tastes like Chianti!! At least not what most reading this will remember Chianti tasting like.

And, I am now 45 minutes into the open bottle. I should note that it is interesting to swirl the Querciabella in a large glass: beautiful color, coating the inside wall of the glass as it falls down the sides. Hmm....a seriously good $30 wine!! One of the best I've had.

I just found Parker's comments and rating: "Gorgeous aromatics waft from the glass as the 2006 Chianti Classico Querciabella (95% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) opens to reveal a super-elegant expression of fresh berries, flowers and tobacco. The plumpness of the fruit makes the wine very appealing today, but there is sufficient tannic clout to suggest at least medium-term aging potential. In recent years Quericabella’s Chianti Classico has established a new benchmark for finessed Chianti made in a contemporary style that nevertheless remains faithful to Sangiovese and the unique qualities of these sites...Querciabella occupies a stupendous position in the hills of Greve...this is another set of strong releases from an estate that in recent years has made some of the most beautiful wines in its history...91." WA 6/08


I am now 75+ minutes into the bottle. It IS the best non reserve Chianti I have ever had.

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