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February 14, 2014

Querciabella Camartina 2010

Querciabella

We are experiencing miserable weather today, as the UK is savaged by storms. However, the weather in Tuscany circa 2010 was sublime and the market has been far from clandestine in asserting this is a must vintage for collectors and one of the greatest in history. Today we are offering a small parcel of the superb 95+ scoring Querciabella Camartina 2010 which is their highest ever score.

Querciabella is firmly established among the elite Tuscans and famed for three wines: their Chianti Classico, which is considered one of the best in the market; their white Burgundy styled Chardonnay blend which danced with the polemical when it was named provocatively Batard; now renamed Batar. Finally and most prominently their leading Super Tuscan wine Querciabella Camartina.

The late Giuseppe Castiglioni was part of the original Super Tuscan vanguard in the early 1970s and his wines are considered alongside Solaia, Tignanello and Sassicaia. In fact Querciabella is part of the elite cadre of estates which along with Tignanello and Solaia boast the acclaimed consultant Giacomo Tachis.

Querciabella Camartina like Tignanello remains accessibly priced on release, but while Tignanello produces in excess 25,000 case a year, Querciabella Camartina make 1,500 cases, 15,000 bottles and it sells out quickly. Indeed it is almost the mirror image of Tignanello, made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese: Tignanello’s blend is 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon often with a smidgen of Cabernet Franc. The other distinction is that Querciabella Camartina is only produced in great vintages!

The Estate occupies a prime locality in the municipalities of Greve, Panzano, Radda and Gaiole and the 74 hectare Estate is enveloped by natural forests. Adding to this they have their prime 32 hectare vineyard in Maremma, on the glorious Etruscan coast. The grapes are cultivated organically (since 1988) and are now fully biodynamic (since 2000). The grapes are destemmed, not crushed and undergo 12 and 20 days maceration for the Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon respectively. This fully extracts the ripe tannin and phenolics, stabilising the wine beautifully. The wine is aged in 100% French oak, 40% new and 60% with one year’s age. Camartina is made without using any animal products and it among the few truly great wines suitable for vegetarians.

Querciabella Camartina is an irresistibly sexy wine, deep in colour, with captivating aromatics, including blueberries, violets and graphite, with sweet spices of cinnamon, leather and tobacco. The wine synthesises a Pauillac style power and complexity, but without losing any of the earthy minerality and sweetness that help define the Super Tuscans.

The very low production and commitment to quality results in the Estate never releasing a less than worthy vintage. The rising acclaim of Querciabella means that Camartina is released in small quantities and a prized wine for any collector: the 2010 will drink wonderfully young and can age for 30 years.

Antonio Galloni 95+ points
“The 2010 Camartina is one of the most beautiful versions of this wine I have tasted in some time. Layered and vibrant on the palate, the 2010 impresses for its finesse and nuance. Freshly cut flowers, mint, dark red berries and graphite all meld together in a wine of exceptional refinement. Today, the aromas and flavors are naturally not fully expressive, but another few years should work wonders. The cool, late-ripening season yielded a Camartina of understated class and pedigree. This is a fabulous showing.”

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