La Salceta Ruschieto Chianti Riserva 2006
I love meeting traditionalists that have embraced modernism. When we first met, Ettore Ciancico challenged me to the idea that all wines prior to WWII were grown organically. Hard to argue. But then he winked, knowingly. But they didn't have temperature-controlled winemaking equipment, bottling lines, and glass corks either, did they?!
His school of thought on grape growing is simple: Work parcels small enough to handle them manually, co-plant other crops to create a monoculture (novel, huh?), and work without chemicals and herbicides.
Ettore's 3 hectare property in the Arezzo province is a jewel. He knew it, but no one else did. There are thousands of wineries in Tuscany, all vying for an ever shrinking piece of pie, and grabbing market share is hard to do. But slowly and surely you can make your way. I'm glad we were among the first to get there.
Ettore has farmed Salceta organically since he began developing it in 2000. He also farms olive trees for oil, and acacia for honey. The biodiverstiy is important (and unusual here, where there is virtual ocean of grapes in view as one drives around). His wines are bright-fruited, juicy, and teeming with life. There's something special here.
This wine is not a mis-print. We actually are putting a 10-year old Chianti Riserva into a value wine club. Why? Because Ettore knows the importance of introducing his wines to lots of customers, and decided to do us a deal. He suggests to open this wine ahead of time--give it an hour or so in a decanter--and watch it slowly unfold a decade of hidden layers.
A wonderful effort that will leave you a new fan of a small winery most have not yet heard of. Ready to drink!