It was a great way to spend a couple of hours at The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan with Lorenzo Gatteschi of Podere Ciona pouring and discussing his wines. He was a bit distraught, as he and his wife lost their luggage courtesy of the airlines and connecting flights, and unfortunately, I hear more and more stories about this recently. Despite such a problem, he was still able to function with his usual poise and his ability to keep the crowds happy, along with his wines; all the while someone at the wine shop was checking on the luggage in real time. While I was there, I never did hear if the errant luggage came to Detroit, but I do hope that it was a good story ending.
All of the above rambling of mine leads me to my most recent wine tasting with Lorenzo Gatteschi, winemaker of Podere Ciona in Gaiole, Tuscany; who 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.”
The first wine of the afternoon was Podere Ciona “Ciona Rosé” Toscana IGT 2019. While Lorenzo may have been flustered about the luggage, I must confess that he still remembered this Raconteur that attempts to through off the rhythm of the tasting with my photography and my questions and my hieroglyphics that I jot down on the paper for my notes. The Rosé was 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. I did have this wine, the last time I saw Lorenzo and this wine with a bit of age had more nuances and character compared to when it was an ingenue; and it was the last of the inventory.