Trying to trace, in a nutshell, the evolution of wines in the Chianti Classico area, it seems clear that its renaissance is indissolubly linked to some wineries. In this case, I am thinking of those realities that carried out a pioneering work at the turn of the 60s and 70s, and Castellare di Castellina is indisputably an important part of this group!
Founded in 1968 following the merger of four farms (Castellare, Caselle, San Niccolò and Le Case) the winery was purchased by Paolo Panerai in 1980.
It did not take long to gain national and international attention, as the wines produced immediately aroused the interest of Edmond de Rothschild (the owner of Chateau Lafite at that time).
Fame did not stop there, as the Maison Domain Baron de Rothschild-Lafite decided to join the company.
Obviously in the Chianti Classico area, at that time, the Sangiovese grape was, generically, the master. This did not prevent the winery to create, always in those years, an experimental vineyard, with the collaboration of the Universities of Milan and Florence, and Professor Attilio Scienza.
While the study and sampling, for the first time, of the different clones of Sangiovese were being carried out in those lands, the young Panerai formed a close friendship with Emile Peynaud.
For those who do not know Peynaud, it is enough to say that he is, probably, the greatest enologist in history, as well as the greatest connoisseur of the aging process of wines in small Bordeaux casks (Barrique).
Despite all this sounds as aseptic and excessively technical, it should be remembered that these conceptions were accompanied, from the first hour, by attention to the ecological impact of wine production.
In this sense, it is explained the choice to depict each year, on the bottles labels, the images of different birds that make up the fauna of the place. This because the feather fauna needed an environment free of poisons and herbicides to thrive.
Despite the winery has linked its name to the success of its wines based on Sangiovese, their Coniale is a pleasing and famous variation, based on 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. A wine that quickly became yet another Blockbuster by Castellare!
The grapes, grown on vines of just over 20 years, at an altitude of 400 meters, are selected manually and, once in the cellar, macerate just 24 hours on the skins, in order to obtain an elegant wine, not excessively rich in extract.
The alcoholic fermentation, in stainless steel, lasts 40 days, and is followed by a period of aging of one year, in barriques new to 50%, with malolactic fermentation carried out partially, before bottling and marketing.
The 2016 vintage shows a surprisingly light ruby color, for a Cabernet Sauvignon, with a decent consistency and an olfactory range that opens on notes of cooked plum, blackberry, black cherry and rhubarb, followed by dried violet, Rosa Marina Marini, green pepper and fire-cured tobacco, with final echoes of goudron, oak bark incense, carob and fungal undergrowth.
The palate, despite paying the price of being a Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine produced practically everywhere, is however able to be noticed for some tactile and gustatory sensations worthy of note.
The dance are opened by the balsamic freshness (an aspect not taken for granted), accompanied by a very classy flavor and a really light “palate weight”; in short, we are not talking about the classic dense and concentrated juice!
Continuing in swallowing it is impossible to remain indifferent to a tannin with a masterful texture, and an impalpability, also due to a moderate ABV (13,5° C).
Equally noteworthy is the retrolfactive return of red fruit and more austere spices, always declined with a class that I would not hesitate to define innate.
The finish, finally, leaves the palate well clean and centered on red fruit, with a persistence of true wine excellence.
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