Introducing Il Poggiolino, a collection of traditional Chiantis debuting in the US. First an amusing little “history” lesson. In the Middle Ages, Florence and Siena both wanted to rule the beautiful Chianti region. To bring an end to their conflict, it was decreed that a knight from each city would leave at dawn (when the rooster crows), and the border would be established where they met. The Sienese chose a white rooster. The Florentines chose a black one, which they did not feed for days—causing the rooster to crow way before dawn on the day of the contest. The Florentine knight ended up only a short distance from Siena, thus bringing the Chianti region under Florentine rule. Today the symbol of a Black Rooster appears on the neck of bottles of wine from the Chianti Classico zone. If the seal has a red border, it’s considered “Standard” which means the wine is young and meant to be enjoyed shortly after purchase. A gold border represents a “Riserva” that can age for many years. I got to sample both varieties and thought they were all fantastic. There were also a sweet after-dinner wine, Il Vin Santo, that would make a great accompaniment to desserts or cheeses. The farm at Il Poggiolino also houses 5 acres of olive trees, and the olive oil produced is a pretty bright yellow, mellow, and amazingly fresh. (lately been coming across amazing olive oils, lucky me!) Bites were provided by The Leopard at Des Artistes restaurant, including the crostini with chicken liver, also with sauteed eggplant and red peppers. (correction: as of this writing, wines are not yet available in the US, stay tuned for their official launch coming soon)
Importer Dina Gianella at the helm.
Poggio alle Balze: a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 15% Colorino grapes. A casual, young wine.
Il Classico: Loved this one, very soft, round, velvety and feminine. Nice to drink on its own. 95% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino
La Riserva: Getting more complex, earthier, spicy, berries, dark nose, even overall. 95% Sangiovese, 5% Colorino.
Le Balze: Uses only the best vintages of Sangiovese grapes. Full-flavored, intense nose, ripe tannins.
Vin Santo: From the best vintages of Malvasia, Trebbiano, San Colombano, and Canaiolo grapes, picked in October and dried before pressing. Aged 12 years. Only the best is taken from the barrels. A lovely, sweet wine, but not overly so.
Delicious olive oil, packaged with the perfect pouring top, come from the same land.
Italian bites provided by The Leopard, eggplant caponata, and chicken liver on toasts