Wine snapshot: Terreno Chianti Classico
By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com
18 May 2020
Welcome to my new weekly wine feature: “wine snapshot”, where I pick a wine favorite each week. And this week we find ourselves in Italy.
Finishing final sips of the Terreno Chianto Classico 2014 reminds me of a wonderful tasting last September at the unique Winery Hotel outside of Stockholm, Sweden.
Hotel owners the Ruhne family have become famous in Sweden for bringing picked grapes in temperature controlled trucks from their vineyards in Italy to their hotel, where a qualified crew sorts and ferments them into wine. Dubbed “Winery Red” it is made from grapes harvested in Tuscany.
Much of the equipment – vats, barrels and all – remain visible behind the hotel bar. The Winery Hotel has become a unique meeting point for wine connoisseurs and beginners, where wine education is encouraged via fun wine tastings and “deep-diving” wine courses.
Since 2016, sommelier Camilla Forslund organizes tastings for business clients and tourists, like the vertical she did for me last year of the Terreno Chianto Classico, whose vineyards the family bought back in 1988, and they have been improving the quality over the years. This wine is not made at the Winery Hotel, but on location in Italy and the 2014 vintage was not only her favorite, as you can see in the video below, but also mine, too:
A cool vintage, so higher acidity which brings forth a fresh aspect of red berry, herbs and flowers. She found it “Barbaresco like” for its floral aspects. Chief winemaker Federico Staderini is one of the most well known oenologists in Tuscany and this wine, blending 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot, reflects both terroir and talent in winemaking.
As for food pairing, so much is possible. I enjoyed this bottle over a three day period with a variety of foods, from lamb on a skewer to the famous Alsatian speciality tarte flambée, by way of chicken legs drenched in the spicy tomato sauce “basquaise”.
What I loved most perhaps was the tarte flambée matching. The classic, high toned tart cherry notes and a hint of earthiness after about five years in bottle paired especially well with a richer kind of tarte flambée of extra cheese and mushrooms (not the thinner classic version with just onions), as the burgeoning tones of earthiness matched the champignon.
Located in the heart of the Classico Zone, the Terreno winery covers 150 hectares of which 25 are planted to vine over thin, rocky soil with a mixture of sand, clay shale in the sub soil (also rich in lime).
Officially recognized as an organic wine, it is made from grape juice fermented and macerated in big steel cisterns with no added yeast. After pressing, the Sangiovese is matured in botti, larger Italian barrels, and the Merlot in barriques, French 225 litre barrels.
After 16 months, final blending and bottling. The Terreno Chianti Classico 2014 won the award of “Sweden’s best organic red wine” in the internationally recognized wine competition Vinordic Wine Challenge in 2017.
Previous wine snapshots:
Château Sociando Mallet 2003 vintage