Poggio al Sole Chianti Classico 2017
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, 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.
The proof in the pudding is the schiste (slate) and clay soil. One doesn't find much slate in the area, but here it is prevalent, giving Sangiovese a unique and wonderful expression.
The wine is made in stainless steel tanks then aged for a year and a half in used barriques to add roundness and complexity. This 2017 is a complex, wonderfully woven wine with great finesse from front to back. The year was particularly warm and dry, and resulted in a more masculine Chianti than is typical from Poggio al Sole. A terrific bottle to enjoy with a nice buffet of cured meats and hard cheeses.