When I was the Wine Director at I Trulli Restaurant in NYC, we carried a Chianti Classico named for Pope Clement VII. I do not know why the wine is named after him, all I know is I liked the wine. I have not tasted the wine in a number of years and when I was invited to the restaurant Il Gatopardo in NYC for a tasting of wines from the co-op Castelli del Grevepesa, makers of Clement Vll wine, I wanted to go to see if it was as good as I remembered. The event was sponsored by the Italian American Chamber of Commerce and was called The Pride of Tuscany Dinner.
Representing the winery was the general manager, agronomist and enologist Ugo Pagliai. All the stages of production from vineyard to bottling take place under his supervision. Mr. Pagliai said that 18 winemakers founded Castelli del Grevepesa in 1965. Today there are 150 involved. He added that Sangiovese should not be aged only in barriques and the he is moving away from the use of this type of barrel.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Bertesca” 2013 DOCG made from 100% Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The grapes are hand selected. Fermentation tales place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. This is a white wine with some body, nice citrus aromas and flavors and good acidity.
Chianti Classico Castelgreve 2011 DOCG made from 100% Sangiovese. The hand-selected grapes are fermented at controlled temperatures with 10 days of skin contact. The wine ages for 12 months in large oak barrels and at least one month in bottle before release. This is an easy to drink, fruity wine.
Chianti Classico Clemente VII 2011 DOCG made from 100% Sangiovese. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. The wine is aged for 24 months, 85% is in large Slovenian oak casks for 12 months and 15% for 12 months in French barriques. The wine remains in the bottle for at least 3 months before release. The wine was as I remembered it with good fruit, hints of wild berries, violets and very easy to drink. It went very well with he food.
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Panzano 2011 made from 100% Sangiovese. This is a 4-hectare vineyard with West/Southwest exposure. It is at 400 mt. The soil is clay and limestone, the vines are 25/30 years old, there are 3,500 plants per hectare and the training system is Guyot. There is a selection of grapes. Fermentation in controlled temperature stainless steel tanks with 10 days of skin contact. The wine is aged for 30 months, 18 in large oak casks and the rest in French barriques and stainless steel. This is a wine with good body and fruit with hints of violets and spice and a touch of vanilla.
The Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is a classification above Riserva, which was approved last year, the grapes for the Gran Selezione must be harvested only from the wineries own vineyards, with upgraded requirements for alcohol, extract and aging.
Vinsanto Riserva Clemente VII 1998 made from Trebbiano Tuscano and Malvasia del Chianti. The grapes are hand picked and placed on straw mats to dry. There is a slow fermentation in oak barrels followed by a minimum of 36 months aging in oak. The wine has aromas and flavors of dry fruit with hints of apricot.