Poggio Ai Chiari Sangiovese Toscano (2011)
If challenged to express in a single word the essence of great Tuscan sangiovese, I’d favor ‘elegance’. The observable and primary communicator of that quality, as I see it, is a textural characteristic, one transmitted by a refined tannic suite conveying a sensation of remarkable silkiness. Poggio Ai Chiari Sangiovese Toscano delivers in spades on the elegance and refinement for which great Tuscan sangiovese is known, standing out not only among peer wines of the category, but indeed among red wines of distinction.
Tasting the 2011 vintage, I quickly realized that in my glass, plainly said, was one of the most well-made and memorable examples of Tuscan sangiovese in recent memory. Made of 100% sangiovese from what the producer describes as “28 different clones”, a point noted on the bottle’s front label. Fermentation is spontaneous, started by yeasts naturally present on the grapes. Raised for 66 months in French barrique and Slavonian oak, followed by 24 months additional refinement in bottle.