The last two wines that Lorenzo Gatteschi, a family member, and winemaker at Podere Ciona was pouring at my local wine store, The Fine Wine Source were his two premium wines and both of the same vintage. The owner of the shop and Lorenzo have become fast friends over the years and when he is town, he even stays with the owner at his home, and they have dinner at his restaurant after the tasting session is concluded. Not only that, but Podere Ciona has some guesthouses on the property that date back to the 18th Century and fully modernized and can be seen on their website. Since the property is between Florence and Siena, it is the perfect location for a vacation and a chance to do enjoy some wonderful wines. During the tasting sessions there were people that were also making inquiries, which I am sure also make Lorenzo happy.
It is always a pleasure to have Podere Ciona Le Diacce Rosso Toscana IGT 2015 and Le Diacce is the estate’s flagship wine featuring their finest Merlot grapes and a touch of Alicante Bouschet. Outside of Chianti Classico Riserva, Toscana IGT is the other famous designation of Tuscany, and Toscana IGT is the most famous of all the IGT designations in Italy. Back in 1984 when Sassicaia was granted it very own title of DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia, instead of Vino de Tavola, the floodgates were opened for Toscana IGT and whatever the winemaker can create. This wine is ninety-seven percent Merlot and three percent Alicante Bouschet. All hand-harvested and the best grapes are selected for this wine and the initial fermentation was for ten days in French Oak. This was followed by post-fermentation maceration on the skins for about thirty-five days and Malolactic fermentation in French Oak. The wine was then aged in French Oak for twenty-four months, and then another twelve months in the bottle. There were three-hundred-thirty-three cases produced. A rich deep purple-red wine with notes of red fruit, chocolate, and nuts. On the palate deep tones of cherry and red fruit (very fruit forward), totally balanced and lush with a nice long finish of fruit and terroir.
To finish off the afternoon we had a tasting of the Podere Ciona Chianti Classico Riserva 2015. I think that when most people think of Tuscany, their first thoughts are a traditional Chianti Classico and if they can get a Riserva, all that much better. The wine is estate grown on their quartz, clay schist and marl soil. The wine is a blend of ninety-five percent Sangiovese, seven percent Merlot and one percent Alicante Bouschet; and the vines are between fifteen and sixteen years of age. The fruit is all hand-harvested and the initial fermentation is for about ten days in Stainless Steel. Then malolactic fermentation of the juice on the skins is for about a month in French Oak. With this being a Riserva, the wine is then aged for twenty-four-months in a mix of French Oak of which ten percent are new, and then an additional twelve months in bottles, before being released. There were about eighteen-hundred six packs of this wine made. From my notes for 2015, this was a powerhouse vintage for Chianti and this deep ruby-red wine offered notes of plenty red fruit. On the palate, the cherry and other fruit was excellent, was well balanced and velvety tannins and a nice lingering finish of terroir. This bottle will cellar well and it needs at least an hour to breath before serving.