Sara Biffoli of leading Chianti producer Castellare paid a flying visit today to show her wines. In addition to their Chiantis, we tasted wines from Rocca di Frassinello, their estate in Maremma, and Feudi del Pisciotto in Sicily. I really enjoyed the Castellare range; classic Chianti Classico, without too much oak or extraction, and an underlying minerality. The labels are quite distinctive too; apparently they chose one bird for each vintage, which then appears on every label. They were very reasonably priced too. Below, my picks from the ten wines we tasted. All of the wines are available from the Celtic Whiskey Shop, and possibly elsewhere too.

Chianti Classico 2009, Castellare



Lovely light fresh wine with perfectly ripe (but not over-ripe) dark cherry fruits, balanced by a nice acidity and good clean length. 14/20


Chianti Classico Riserva 2008, Castellare



A bigger wine, with lovely pure damson and black cherry fruits; smooth, medium-bodied with a lovely kick of ripe fruit on the dry finish. 15/20


Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna il Poggiolo 2008, Castellare



Moving up a level again, this single vineyard wine shows a little more oak, but still not excessive, alongside plenty of cool perfumed dark fruits and excellent length. 16/20


I.G.T Toscana I Sodi di S. Niccolo 2006



Powerful yet balanced wine with rich dark fruits, some mahogany polish spice, and a very stylish long finish. Refined, pleasantly austere and very Tuscan. Excellent wine. 16.5/20


Nero d’Avola 2009, Baglio del Sole, Feudi del Pisciotto

I.G.T. Sicilia



Lovely fresh perfumed wine with plump pure juicy dark fruits. A great value gluuger that would go with most red and white meats. 11/20


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