Poggio al Sole (Tuscany, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa)
DOCG Chianti Classico
Giovanni (Johannes) and Kathrin Davaz are the minds behind the fantastic Poggio al Sole near the quaint Tuscan village of Tavernelle Val di Pesa. They arrived from Switzerland 27 years ago with a few pieces of luggage, a small bank account and a head of steam.
They found this incredible property, nearly abandoned, almost forgotten, and ready to acquire for a song, but in need of a ton of work. After a moment of wondering, "what did we do?", they rolled up their sleeves and got to it.
Their fine hilltop property is surrounded on all sides by lands and vineyards of the famous Antinori, farmers who sell grapes our work directly with the famous name. It was expected that Johannes and Kathrin might do the same but instead they choose the independent route and by the mid-90's were issuing their own wines onto the marketplace. It's a great story of tenacity.
The Davaz' make only Chianti Classico for reds, each of their bottles adorned with the famous black rooster (gallo nero) that signifies the denomination. In fact, local wine people come to their vineyard, the most well-known viticulturists included, and claim that their vines are among the best 3 or 4 sites in all of Chianti Classico. For sure they are among the highest, situated almost precariously on a forested mountaintop.
As the name indicates, this wine is a 'tryptic' or a 'trifecta' of sorts, combining younger vine Sangiovese with Cabernet and Merlot. Giovanni refers to it as a "baby Super Tuscan." We love the bright purple color and the lively juicy quality. Even though it boasts 10% of Cabernet Sauvignon the wine is plush and soft without any of the harsh tannins typical of the area. Fermentation in stainless steell followed by a year in neutral oak leads to a wine with powerful fruit but a warm and rich mouthfeel. Drink it now through 2020.