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Dievole Chianti Classico DOCG 2011

Dievole Chianti Classico DOCG 2014, Tuscany, Italy. 13.5%

Here’s the new release of Chianti Classico from Dievole. This 2014 vintage featured at VinItaly 2016.

I have tried Dievole wines before, but not recently. My old tasting notes say they were good. However, I found their Chianti Classico was made in a modern oaked “international” style, blending Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This style has consumer appeal. Personally, I prefer something more traditional.

I hadn’t realised that Dievole changed hands in 2012. The new owners made a complete u-turn in their winegrowing philosophy, with stunning impact. Their revised Chianti Classico is a great example.

It is nothing short of a rebirth.

In 2013, Dievole started working with Alberto Antonini, a Tuscan-born oenologist and one of the top five wine consultants in the world according to Decanter magazine. He specialises in helping wineries discover their individuality and make wines designed to show a sense of place, known as terroir. Antonini’s vision is for authenticity. Now Dievole has:

  • Ceased using herbicides and pesticides. Organic and biodynamic methods replaced this, with Certification in 2017;
  • Replaced the international grape varieties with those indigenous to Tuscany;
  • Started to harvest the grapes earlier, when they are ripe but not over mature;
  • Replaced cultured yeast with wild yeast for fermentations;
  • Removed Cabernet and Merlot from their Chianti Classico. It is now 100% Sangiovese;
  • Discarded small toasted-oak barriques. These were replaced with traditional large Slavonian oak botti to avoiding wood flavours;
  • Changed the label to show the difference from older vintages.

Such a revolution also needs significant investment in money, in time, and in trust.

Grapes have grown at Dievole since AD 1090. In comparison, William the Conqueror had just died!  In the modern day, the Dievole estate covers 400 hectares, with 80 hectares devoted to vineyards.

The 2013 vintage was the first to be transformed under Antonini, but this 2014 Chianti Classico reflects his new methods. The wine is aged in untoasted oak casks for fourteen months, with a further three months ageing in bottle.

It’s still a young wine that I recommend decanting. A bright ruby colour, with cherry and violet scents on the nose. Tasting it is breathtaking. There is depth to the rich cherry and red berry fruit, with spices and balsam notes appearing.  It feels fresh and alive, with a beautiful balance of fruit, tannins and acidity. The finale has a lovely sour cherry and bitters edge that keeps you coming back for more.  My hallmarks of fine wine are personified here: elegance, intensity and purity. This wine will continue to develop and improve and has a long lifespan ahead.

A good Chianti Classico is an ideal wine to drink with traditional Tuscan food. I enjoyed it with Rigatino; an unsmoked salted bacon smothered in fennel and black pepper. Wafer-thin slices layered on crusty bread drizzled with olive oil. That’s an authentic taste of Tuscany!

On this evidence, Dievole is poised to join the top-table of great Chianti Classico producers. As Dievole is only twelve kilometres north of Siena, I can’t wait to visit them!

Expected to reach Britain soon, the UK importer is Alivini. Price estimate is £18-£20. In the USA, expect to pay around $18

Località Dievole 6
53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga

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