Wine Park, an importer and marketer of premium wines in India recently organised a series of wine events at the Four Seasons Hotel to celebrate Truffles week and the unique pairing of their wines with truffle-laden gourmet dishes. Sonal Holland had the pleasure of attending a rather interesting wine-tasting evening tutored by Paulo Bianchi of Agricola Querciabella, a family owned winery in Tuscany.
This well reputed boutique winemaking house is today known for making award-winning wines, each quite unique and brilliantly tailored for the connoisseur’s palate.
Paulo Bianchi, an engaging presenter, proudly described the biodynamic vineyard management techniques used at Querciabella which have led to producing high quality wines with beautiful expressions of the carefully tended fruit.
While biodynamics has become something of a buzzword in today’s wine culture globally, biodynamic principles have been a part of Querciabella’s core philosophy since 1988 when gentle farming practices were incorporated in the vineyard to maintain the natural balance and help preserve the Tuscan terroir, a transition which was complete by their 2000 vintage.
Biodynamic farming methods aim towards keeping the soil alive by avoiding use of industrial chemicals, thereby allowing the vine plant to flourish. Biodynamic practices contribute to maintaining the natural balance of nutrients and minerals in the soil and promote biodiversity by nourishing plants with plants. Biodynamic wines, it is believed are full of flavour with natural, unaltered expression of the grape variety.
We tasted three wines from the Querciabella house that evening. Batar Toscana IGT 2005 is a bold blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Blanc, arguably one of the best Italian white wines I have sampled. Jasmine, peaches and sweet tropical fruit laid on a bed of buttery, toasty mineral notes, this wine recalls the best of Burgundy whites. Opulence and layers of complexity best describe this wine that would show up even better with smoked food.
Querciabella Chianti Classico, Toscana DOCG 2006, an award winning Chianti from this house, is a joy to taste. 90% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon lend this wine a generous black currant character, subdued oak, silky tannins, a savoury palate and an incredibly lasting finish. Very compact and very enjoyable!
The third and the last wine was the Camartina IGT 2004. Make no mistake, this is one hell of a blockbuster wine! Big broad entry, extremely elegant on the palate with a solid core of ripe fruit, fine-grained tannins and an outstandingly long finish.
Camartina is the 5th Super Tuscan ever produced in the world and has been made only in select vintages in limited quantities. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvingon and 30% Sangiovese, this wine is matured in 100% French oak and continues to improve up to 18 years after harvest. A wine for keeping and for the fine senses.
With strict biodynamic standards in viticulture and very high quality winemaking techniques, there is no doubt that the Querciabella wines are living wines and, what’s more, wines that live longer.