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 a modern style; Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in new French oak. While this style has international appeal, personally, I prefer something more traditional.
Dievole changed hands in 2012. As a result, the new owners made a complete u-turn in their winegrowing philosophy, with stunning impact.
It’s nothing short of a rebirth
In 2013, Dievole started working with Alberto Antonini. He’s 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 individuality and make wines designed to show their sense of place. In short, Antonini’s vision is authenticity. To achieve this, 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 in maturation, replacing them with traditional large Slavonian oak botti, avoiding wood flavours;
- Changed the label to differentiate 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 release with Antonini. However, this 2014 Chianti Classico reflects all his new methods. The wine matures for fourteen months in cask, then a further three months in bottle.
It’s still a young wine that I recommend decanting. A bright ruby colour, with cherry and violet scents on the nose. There’s 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!
Località Dievole 6
53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga