MCF Rare Wine
Podere Le Boncie: Chianti's Other Great IGT
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a fabulous Chianti value from Sorelle Palazzi - a soft, beautiful value-driven example of this widely-known but (IMO) still very underappreciated wine.
Today, I'd like to write about a producer that, for me, belongs in the conversation with the legendary traditionalists of the region like Montevertine, Castell'In Villa, etc.
Podere Le Boncie has been a Chianti insider's gem for years now, but over the last few vintages, 'Insider's Gem' has slowly been morphing into 'Everybody's Discovering How Good It Is'...or something like that...
The point is, these two wines from Boncie represent the classicist's classic expression of Chianti - elegant, refined, balanced, subtly complex and graceful beyond words...and people are starting to notice.
Speaking of words, there's always been one that pops into my mind whenever I drink proper, ageworthy Chianti like these - aristocratic. That's not to imply anything about class or elitism or whatever, but rather that classic Chianti like this has such dignified sense of restraint to it...such a politeness.
These wines aren't the big, full-throated guys you meet at the ballgame, but are more the classy, sophisticate who, if given respect, has a whole other level of character to offer.
Among the great 'aristocractic' Chianti, Le Boncie's wines stand out for their emphasis on the elegance of Sangiovese.
I should point out that, beginning in 2010, proprietor/winemaker Giovanna Morganti decided to leave the appellation of Chianti (just like Montevertine did many decades ago), to allow herself greater flexibility over the production of her wines.
While these are both technically IGT Toscana, they surely represent the true spirit of old-school Chianti.
The Rosso Le Cinque 2017 is the 'every day' wine...or 'Wine at Hand', one a few things that '5' refers to. It started life solely as the 'young vine' version of Le Trame, but is now, with the addition of fruit from a new vineyard, its own wine entirely.
While the whole 'drink this now while the Trame matures' spirit is still the same, it's quite a serious wine in its own right.
It's soft, elegant and gregarious, showcasing the floral side of Sangiovese with such purity and energy. Its lovely, simple beauty keeps you coming back for more.
Then we have the Toscana Rosso Le Trame 2016 which has been a wine I've been eagerly awaiting for some time now. The stunning combination of structure and balance that the 2016 vintage brings to Tuscany is in near perfect symmetry with the style that the Le Trame always expresses.
In other words, this wine of airy, flowery precision and tightly-wound tannin is even airier and firmer (and more reticent) than usual, but will surely blossom into something beautiful over the next decade as it loosens up in the cellar.
It's at once bright, racy and perfumed, while also being chiseled, focused and mineral. The playful hints of sweet, spice-laden berry fruits engage you just enough to make this quite enjoyable now, but as the grippy finish reminds you, patience is the key to getting to know this wine's true personality.
This is surely one of the more exciting releases of the year so far for me.
I wish I could keep a case for myself...but, being a good merchant, I'm saving it all for you guys!
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