Jean Smullen reviews Poggio al Casone Chianti Superiore Organic and 2018 Ferro 13 Hacker Sangiovese
I have visited wine regions in Italy three times this year, so today Movies & Booze has an Italian focus. In March I travelled to Udine to the region known as Fruili Venezia Giulia where 75% of the wines grown are white. In May I travelled to Tuscany which is where the wines we are featuring today come from. In June I toured the Prosecco region, which we will have a look at later this year.
2016 Poggio al Casone Chianti Superiore Organic €12.99
Stockists: Spar, EuroSpar, Mace, Londis Nationwide
Tuscany is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Spend a few days there and you will very quickly be seduced by not only the sheer beauty of the place with its magnificent scenery but also by quality and pace of life in this part of Europe. I visited the Estate where this wine is produced in early May. Spring had just burst into bloom and the weather was perfect. The Poggio al Casone estate is owned by the Castellani family who today farm over 1,000 hectares of vineyards in Tuscany. The winery is about 40 minutes drive from Pisa and we stayed in a restored Villa which the home of Piergiorgio Castellani, the man who makes this wine The family have been making wine since 1903 and today he is the fourth generation of his family to make wine.
Piergiorgio is passionate about the environment and about working with healthy soil and encouraging natural wildlife in the vineyards. Nature is alive on his Estate and every facet of it works in harmony to produce his wines. Piergiorgio is an organic farmer, he gave up using chemicals in the vineyard when his son was born, twenty years ago. The farm at Poggio al Casone has 32 hectares of vines growing there. The restored villas we stayed in are available to rent, and Piergiorgio lives in a small house on the Estate in the middle of the vineyards.
Chianti is still the dominant focus in Tuscan viticulture. It is the great wine of the central Tuscan hills and the delimited areas stretches from south of Florence to north of Siena in what is today the Classico district. The grape mix varies greatly in Chianti, depending on the style of wine required. In Classico, most estates make their wines from 100% Sangiovese, for the Riservas it will be virtualy 100%. Other districts who make a lighter style of wine will use more Canaiolo or a percentage of white grapes. Some will flesh out the Sangiovese with a (legal) addition of up to 10% Cabernet Sauvignon although is this now declining.
Chianti Clasico is now entitled by law to be made from 100% Sangiovese. The style is now more often dictated by the winemaker. The basic DOCG requirement for Chianti is that it must have a min of 11 al by vol, with a minimum of 3 years ageing.
The grapes used to make this wine are organic, it is made from a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo, it was aged for 12 months in oak. This is one of the company’s most successful wines. It is quite floral and perfumed on the nose with a touch of white chocolate showing through. The wine is a lovely balance of acidity, fruit and tannin, lots of black cherry showing through. Tannin is well integrated, at this price this is a steal. Definitely recommended, a super wine at this price.
2018 Ferro 13 Hacker Sangiovese €14.99
Stockists: SuperValu, Nationwide
I love the concept of this new wine range from SuperValu, all of which have quirky names. Wines such as The Lady (Pinot Grigio), The Hacker (Sangiovese), The Hipster (Negroamaro) and #Hashtag (the label allows you to personalise your very own hashtag!) and The Boss a fresh distinctive Prosecco. All are the perfect for a summer party and having tasted the the wine range they are all very well made. Fresh, fruity modern aimed at a younger generation, fun and identifiable.
The wines are made by five friends who are based in Verona.
Hacker which we are featuring today is made by FEDERICO MIGLIORINI from fruit in the hills of Greve in Chianti, in the heart of Tuscany. The vineyards are 300 metres above sea level. This is an IGT wine which means it is not a Chianti, but most likely has grape varieties not native to the region in it. Featuring a serious amount of black cherry fruit with the usual amount of acidity you would expect from an Italian red, if you’re having a pizza night watching Netflick with the gang, then this is the wine to drink.
Catch the O’Briens Spanish Wine Sale which will run until Sunday 7th July. There will be discounts of between 20-50% across their entire range of Spanish wines online and in-store.
Congrats to ELY WINE BAR, ELY 64 and ELY BAR & GRILL who have all been honoured in the prestigious annual Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards. This is the fifth consecutive year for ELY WINE BAR to make the awards list. More details in the wine diary https://jeansmullen.com/