By now, if you have read any of my articles, you realize that I am a creature of habit and I tend to visit my local wine shop The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. I am an old war-horse from the retail industry and I can appreciate an old pair of well-formed slippers as well as a pair of brand-new brogues, in fact sometimes the slippers are preferred. I have been to many wine shops in the past fifty years; and some have been so snooty that I have not wanted to buy a bottle of wine, all I wanted to do was to get out of the building, establishments like that are what give the wine industry a bad name. Most of the shops are just retail stores, just like going into a clothing store and the clerks pretend that they are knowledgeable, but they are useless, they may as well be selling ten-penny nails at the local hardware store. Let us say that I do put retail under a fine microscope, because it was what I did, until I realized that being a gentleman is a lost cause. That is why I appreciate The Fine Wine Source, they don’t attempt to let you know how smart they are, but when you ask a question, they can answer it, that is important, especially since you can not find any of the “popular” wine brands there, like you find at the drug store, grocery store or gas station.
All of the above rambling of mine leads me to a wine tasting with Lorenzo Gatteschi, winemaker of Podere Ciona in Gaiole, Tuscany was there hosting a tasting of his family’s wines. I was reading the history of the winery on their website “Franca and Franco Gatteschi were looking for a place in the countryside to retire to, after many years of working in Italy and abroad, when they came across a small, beautiful, albeit run down property: 100 acres of land, mostly wooded with 10 acres set aside for cultivation, of which 2.5 acres already had vineyards; a house from the 18th Century, abandoned for more than 40 years; and, above all, a view without equal on the Chianti hills, with Siena in the distance.” It really sounds idyllic and makes one ponder how this property was neglected and ignored for years. “They purchased the estate at the beginning of 1990 and they immediately started the reconstruction work on the main house (it took nearly three years). They also set up a small but well- equipped wine cellar for making wine. In 1996 they permanently moved to live on the estate and the following year, the great 1997 vintage, saw the birth of the first “official” wine of Podere Ciona: A Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva.”
Not only am I treated as an old friend by The Fine Source, but Lorenzo Gatteschi greets me and every other person there as an old friend, he even remembers little bits of information from past conversations. Lorenzo is a fine gentleman of the “Old School” and was very gracious, in fact each time that I have met him, I get the same feelings. After dealing with the public for fifty years, I think I have developed a keen appreciation for the qualities of a gentleman. We started off with Podere Ciona Rosé Toscana IGT 2019 made entirely of Sangiovese in the saignée method. The vines are from six to nineteen years of age and planted on quartz, clay schist and marl. The fruit is harvested manually in small baskets and then de-stemming, berry by berry for a slight crush in Stainless Steel vats for ten to twelve hours of skin contact and no Malolactic Fermentation. The wine is then aged for about six months in Stainless Steel and then further fined and bottle aged for six months before distribution. There was about one-hundred-eighty cases produced of this wine. A pretty salmon-pink color with notes of fruit and spices, just a well-balanced light and easy drinking wine with a nice medium count finish offering terroir.