John Paul Kaminga
Sangiovese Schema: Predappio e Lamole
In scheming a diagram of the vast array of styles of which Sangiovese is capable, these two wines might not end up so far apart from each other. They are both rather elegant examples of Sangiovese and share a number of similarities: lifted aromas, medium body, vibrant acidity, moderate tannin, a freshness that makes them food-friendly. At the same time, however, they are quite different: the Condello Predappio is young and fruity, while the I Fabbri Chianti Classico is mature and earthy.
Sangiovese in Chianti Classico, much like Pinot Noir in Burgundy expresses a sense of place with aplomb, individual crus exhibiting distinct and complex personalities. I Fabbri is in Lamole, home to highest vineyards in Chianti Classico and dominated by wild woodlands, not vineyards, and their Riserva comes from their lower vineyards, which are warmer and provide a richer and more structured wine. I should not make an assertion about Sangiovese and terroir in Predappio, the commune in Romagna where Chiara Condello's vineyards grow, as I do not have adequate experience with the region, but I feel strongly that the wines I have tasted from Condello are pure expressions of grape and place. In any case, both of these wines are well worth your attention, and together make for a kind of mini (and delicious) masterclass on Sangiovese.
Chiara Condello Romagna Sangiovese Predappio 2019 - $25
Tight, bright, and juicy, so promising. Aromas of fresh cherry, blackberry, fennel, vague wild green herbs and blue flowers, great lift and energy here. Lots of crunchy fruit on the palate, vibrant acidity and supple tannins, inner perfume of violets, fennel, marzipan, and diverse herbs. So fresh and lively through the finish, a little grip from tannin, a lot of zip from acid, many fruit, herb and mineral notes linger. This is a ton of fun today, but will surely develop positively for 5+ years.
I Fabbri Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 - $37
Old school, one might say, and for me that character is a very good thing. Aromas of plum and dark cherry, violets, pipe tobacco, stewed beef, a little white pepper, rosemary, mint and petrichor. Tangy and earthy on the palate, firm but moderate tannins, broad acid attack, mild herbal bitterness. Copious herbal, soil and meaty nuances through the dry finish, but pleasantly tart dark stone fruits linger as well. This opened up steadily over 6 hours, which leads me to believe it will be worth following at least a few more years.
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