Tuscan in Pinstripes

Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza Chianti Classico Riserva 2009


Wine is a cheap form of travel. I cannot taste a Chianti without my mind drifting back to a Summer evening a decade ago, sitting outside a hillside restaurant eating wild boar stew, sipping a local red with the medieval walled town of San Gimiginao in the distance.

The square in Sienna, the leaning Tower, Florentine sculpture, the epic cathedrals are all within grasp once the glass is poured. I tend to erase the argument with the taxi driver afterwards who wanted to charge Euro 40 for a 5km ride.

Racketeering taxi men aside, a wine’s connection to it’s place of origin is one of it’s great joys. People who are into wine get that it’s more than processed grape juice. Wine is a link to the place, culture, history and people of where it comes from.

I drank the fancy Castello Di Gabbiano Bellezza Chianti Classico Riserva 2009 recently. This single vineyard wine is from best vineyard in the Estate, where wine production dates back to 1124. Castello di Gabbiano is the only European outpost of Australian owned Treasury Wine Estates who purchased it when Treasury seemed destined for world domination.

They make a variety of wines from entry level Chianti Classico to Riservas with Bellezza near the top of the pile. Bellezza has all the full bodied power and alcohol of a new world elite red.

It still has a little of the wild and rustic quality that I like in Sangiovese but it’s pretty polished. There is some dryness on the back palate but it doesn’t have that astringent finish that give Italian reds their love/hate quality.

Bellezza makes a very nice special occasion wine all for the price of a 5km taxi journey in Tuscany!

Rating: 4/5. Pricec: $50. For more Wine Reviews read and follow www.greatwineblog.wordpress.com  Drink and be merry!

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